Development and Psychometric Evaluation of the Nurses Professional Values Scale-Revised

Article excerpt

The Nurses Professional Values Scale.Revised (NPVS-R) is an instrument derived from the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses designed to measure nurses' professional values. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the NPVS-R in a random sample of baccalaureate and master's students and practicing nurses. The NPVS-R, a 26-item Likert-scale format instrument, was tested on 782 subjects. Responses to the NPVS-R were subjected to exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis. Principal components analysis with varimax rotation and Kaiser normalization resulted in a five-factor solution explaining 56.7% of the common variance. Findings supported internal consistency reliability of five factors with alpha coefficients from .70 to .85 and a total scale alpha coefficient of .92. Construct validity was supported with an overall factor loading range of .46 to .79 across the five factors labeled Caring, Activism, Trust, Professionalism, and Justice. The NPVS-R is a psychometrically sound instrument for measuring professional nurses' values and enhancing professional socialization.

Keywords: professional values; instrument development; values development; Code of Ethics for Nurses

In an era of ever-increasing ethical dilemmas in health care, professional value development is essential. Values associated with professional practice have never been more crucial to nursing education. If nursing is to remain a player in this era of health care transitioning, the values espoused by the profession need to be brought to the forefront of organizational decision making (Weis, 1995). The acquisition and internalization of values espoused by the profession are central to professional development and provide for a common framework on which expectations and standards can be developed. They are standards for action preferred by practitioners and the professional group and can be used to evaluate the integrity of the individual and the organization. The purpose of this article is to describe the Nurses Professional Values Scale.Revised (NPVS-R), its development, and the validity and reliability of the instrument. The NPVS-R is a revision of the original scale and was necessitated by the changes to the American Nurses Association (ANA; 2001) Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements.

BACKGROUND

Concerns regarding the development of professional values are evident in the writing of numerous authors (Crigger, 1997; Esterhuizen, 1996; Ham, 2004; Irving & Snider, 2002; Milton, 2003). The importance of values and values education was affirmed in nursing with the publication The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice , in which values fundamental to baccalaureate nursing education were identified (American Association for Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 1998). As noted in the AACN document, Professional values are the foundation for practice; they guide interactions with patients, colleagues, other professionals, and the public" (p. 8). However, according to Irving and Snider (2002), the values that have been associated with excellence in practice are beginning to be viewed as nice to know," that is, not required. Value development, the ability to deal with issues of right and wrong, is perceived as less important than mastery of facts. Crigger (1997) noted that changes in the health care system may cause nurses to invest less in their professional roles. She points out that the system rather than the profession may influence nursing practice. In a study by Ham (2004), results indicated that environmental factors may over time erode a nurse's commitment to codes of right and wrong.

The original Nurses Professional Values Scale (NPVS) was based on the 1985 American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (Weis & Schank, 2000). This version of the Code of Ethics had 11 provisions. The first six statements in the code pertained to nurses' responsibility to clients. …