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Factors that affect the process of professional identity formation in public health nurses

DOI: 10.4236/ojn.2013.31002    4,806 Downloads   8,967 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Objective: The aim of this study was to elucidate the process of professional identity formation and the factors that affect the process in public health nurses (PHNs). Methods: We performed an inductive qualitative analysis based on semi-structured interviews and focus group interviews of 65 PHNs. Results: At years 1 - 5, PHNs did not have a professional self-identity. Therefore, it was important for them to recognize the significance of their own work. At years 6 - 10, PHNs acquired self-assurance as a practitioner through feedback from residents. It was important for them to have a better understanding, broader viewpoints and more affection for their own community. At years 11 - 20, PHNs felt ambivalent toward the challenges and heavy responsibilities based on the objective assessment of their jobs and roles. PHNs felt embarrassed by role changes when they became a manager or an expert. It was important for them to become aware of their new role through managerial education and training. However, some PHNs who were unable to establish a clear PHN identity experienced setbacks at each developmental stage. Conclusions: Our data suggest that a differential approach dependent on the stage and level of confidence in an individual’s PHN identity is required for the formation of PHN identity.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Okura, M. , Uza, M. , Izumi, H. , Ohno, M. , Arai, H. and Saeki, K. (2013) Factors that affect the process of professional identity formation in public health nurses. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 8-15. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.31002.

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