Strengthening Professional Values of Doctoral-Level Nursing Students

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2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Multiple recent critical societal/world events have impacted nurses' beliefs and emphasized the importance of the standards of behavior that frame nurses' professional values. Objectives: This study focused on the professional values of students in a Doctor of Nursing program (DNP), including the relationship between professional values, time in program, and intentions to participate in professionalism-focused activities. Methods: From fall 2019 through Spring 2021, 227 participants were invited to participate in this study through the completion of an online survey at several points in time. The survey contained various demographic variables, items from the Nurses Professional Values Scale-3 representing the dimensions of caring, activism, and professionalism, and Likert scale items that measured intentions to participate in professionalism-focused activities. Results: The overall mean NPVS-3 score was 118.30 (out of a possible range of 28–140). The highest mean score among the three dimensions was for caring (45.38), followed by activism (40.20) and then professionalism (32.71). Students indicated high intentions to participate in activities focused on professionalism (5.77 on a scale of 1 to 7). A moderate correlation between intentions and professionalism (r =.44, p <.0001) was noted. The association of intentions to caring and activism was weaker but significant (r = 0.26; p =.012) and (r = 0.37; p =.0003), respectively. Conclusion: DNP curricular efforts can strengthen nurses' professional values by focusing on the development of critically important professional attributes. Nurses, especially those who have a doctoral-level education, need to have strong professional values and understand the importance of their voice and impact as a leader in the profession.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open Nursing
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. This work was supported by the Sigma Theta Tau grant from the university’s Delta PSI Chapter (grant number: No grant #; Funding $500).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • education
  • graduate
  • identity
  • nursing
  • professionalism
  • values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing (all)


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