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Aim: This paper reports on the creation, development and testing of a new instrument to measure qualities of nurses, known as the Qualities of Nurses (QON) scale, applicable to student nurses.

Background: High attrition rates within nursing programs and during early postgraduate years are an international phenomena. Mismatches between idealized perceptions of nursing and the realities of education and clinical experiences have been identified as contributing factors.

Method: A survey method was used to elicit responses to scale items from 678 first-year nursing students at a large university.

Results: A one-factor 12-item solution explaining 47 percent of variance in the construct was demonstrated.

Conclusion: The QON can assist in the initial assessment and ongoing monitoring of changes in students' perceptions of nurses. Using the QON, researchers and educators can identify initial student nurses' perceptions and any changes associated in educational or other events that ultimately could be manipulated to reduce attrition.

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Journal Article

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