The relationship between emotional intelligence, previous caring experience, and successful completion of a pre-registration nursing/midwifery degree

Austyn Snowden, Rosie Stenhouse, Lorraine Duers, Sarah Marshall, Fiona Carver, Norrie Brown, Jenny Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
124 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Aim

To examine the relationship between baseline emotional intelligence and prior caring experience with completion of pre-registration nurse and midwifery education.

Background

Selection and retention of nursing students is a global challenge. Emotional intelligence is well conceptualised, measurable and an intuitive prerequisite to nursing values and so might be a useful selection criterion. Previous caring experience may also be associated with successful completion of nurse training.

Design

Prospective longitudinal study.

Method

Self-report trait and ability emotional intelligence scores were obtained from 876 student nurses from two Scottish Universities before they began training in 2013. Data on previous caring experience were recorded. Relationships between these metrics and successful completion of the course were calculated in SPSS version 23.

Results

Nurses completing their programme scored significantly higher on trait emotional intelligence than those that did not complete their programme. Nurses completing their programme also scored significantly higher on social connection scores than those that did not. There was no relationship between ‘ability’ emotional intelligence and completion. Previous caring experience was not statistically significantly related to completion.

Conclusion

Students with higher baseline trait emotional intelligence scores were statistically more likely to complete training than those with lower scores. This relationship also held using ‘Social connection’ scores. At best, previous caring experience made no difference to students’ chances of completing training. Caution is urged when interpreting these results because the headline findings mask considerable heterogeneity. Neither previous caring experience or global emotional intelligence measures should be used in isolation to recruit nurses.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Early online date14 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2017

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