The path to nurse registration

Louisa Sheward, Iain Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The aim of this study was to identify factors promoting or impeding pre-registration degree level education at the first School of Nursing in Scotland offering transfer from diploma to degree programmes. 

A questionnaire was used to collect data from third year student nurses (adult branch). This included an "attitude towards obtaining a degree" scale, developed using psychometric techniques to maximise reliability and validity. 

Attitudes were generally positive. The majority of participants believed obtaining a degree would help nurses develop their career and increase their professional status. However, the majority disagreed with views that obtaining a degree was essential to be a good nurse, would make nurses better at their jobs and would improve patient care provided by nurses. Only 25% believed obtaining a degree ought to be essential for all student nurses. 

Twenty-nine participants did not accept transfer to a degree programme. Of these, four-fifths reported this was due to the combined pressures of academic workload, family and work. None of these participants believed that obtaining a degree would make nurses better at their jobs. 

A theory-practice divide seemed to exist whereby many participants did not relate increased degree knowledge to improved clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-154
Number of pages10
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Career Choice
  • Career Mobility
  • Decision Making
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Education, Professional, Retraining
  • Employment
  • Family
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Licensure, Nursing
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Nursing Education Research
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Theory
  • Professional Competence
  • Scotland
  • Students, Nursing
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workload
  • Journal Article


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