Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Are nursing students imposters?

Roger Watson, Editor-in-Chief

I recall, having been deemed fit to manage the ward, having the keys to the ward slid along the floor to me by the charge nurse as she was going off the ward to dinner and her saying 'you're in charge'; I was a final year student nurse and it was my first time and - yes - I felt like an imposter.  Surely someone else should be doing this and not me.

This article from New Zealand, Australia and the UK by Christensen et al. (2016) titled: 'Do nursing students experience Imposter Phenomenon? An international comparison of final year undergraduate nursing students' readiness for registration' and published in JAN looks at the Imposter Phenomenon in nursing students.  The aim of the study was 'to examine the extent at which imposter phenomenon is evident in four final year nursing student cohorts in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.'  Over 200 final year nursing students were invovled and completed two questionnaires: one about preparedness to work as a nurse; and one about fear of not being able to perform properly.  The results suggest that 38.5% of the sample could be classifed as 'imposters'.  While the reasons for imposter feelings were not clear the authors conclude: 'nursing students report internalized feelings which suggest their performance and competence once qualified may be compromised' and 'it is recommended that educational programmes designed for this student cohort should be mindful of this internal conflict.'

You can listen to this as a podcast


Reference

CHRISTENSEN M., AUBEELUCK A., FERGUSSON D., CRAFT J., KNIGHT J., WIRIHANA L. & STUPPLE E. (2016) Do nursing students experience Imposter Phenomenon? An international comparison of final year undergraduate nursing students' readiness for registration. Journal of Advanced Nursing doi:10.1111/jan.13034

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