The development of caring within a vocational nursing education program
Caring has been linked with the practice of nursing throughout history. As modern nursing strives to establish itself as a profession of caring, the need to identify the basic components of caring and how caring components are learned or transmitted has evolved. The purpose of this study was to determine if caring attitudes and behaviors were learned during the vocational educational process.Madeline Leininger's theory of caring provided the theoretical framework for this study. A comparative descriptive research design was employed. The Caring Ability Inventory (Nkongho, 1990) was used to assess a baseline for student caring and to determine any changes in the caring ability over time. The Nursing Clinical Teacher Effectiveness Inventory (Knox & Mogan, 1985) was used to establish student and faculty perceptions of caring attitudes and behaviors in the nursing faculty. A curriculum survey designed by Slevin and Harter (1987) was used to examine the nursing curriculum for various aspects of caring. Demographic data sheets were completed by students and faculty.Descriptive and multivariant statistics were used to analyze the data. The sample consisted of basic and advanced level nursing students (N = 142) and full time nursing faculty (N = 12) in a midwestern vocational nursing program. The results indicated that caring behaviors were not significantly changed during the program Faculty rated utilization of caring behaviors higher than did the students, particularly behaviors related to student evaluation. Faculty had difficulty identifying caring theory, caring concepts, and methods of teaching caring to students. The conclusion was that faculty lacked sufficient information about caring to effectively utilize the concept in curriculum presentation.