Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Committee Chair

Cindy Miller


Professional behavior in nursing is a difficult term to define. There are generational, cultural, and regional aspects that affect the definition of this concept. Nursing, as in other professions, has a set of behaviors it has deemed necessary to guide practice. Professionalism is paramount in that it guides the nurse’s behavior in patient care, in collaboration with healthcare team members, and in serving the community. There is a direct correlation between professional behavior in nursing practice and positive patient outcomes. Unprofessionalism has been noted as an issue in nursing, including the new graduate nurse population. This project sought to develop a professional development course for senior nursing students that would provide professional behavior education before they began their nursing career, in an attempt to increase professionalism in the workplace. A senior nursing class (n=64) was divided into a participant group that completed a professional development course and a non-participant group that did not attend the course. All students were surveyed prior to and after the professional development intervention to assess for self-reported growth in professionalism. This study asks the question: Is professional behavior improved by direct and specific professional development education for senior nursing students? The project results showed that there was a significant, positive change in professionalism scores for all students when the first and second survey scores were compared. There were increased positive changes found in the participation group as compared to the non-participant group, but the increase was not significant.

Included in

Nursing Commons