Aim: The aim of this paper is to describe the development and testing of a questionnaire intended to determine key professionalism attributes and key environmental attributes that influence the professionalism of nurses in their practice environments.
Background: Rapid changes in the healthcare sector and human resource shortages have had an impact on the stability of global work environments, making maintaining professionalism a challenge. The literature consists of descriptive research, opinion and theoretical papers.
Method: The Professionalism and Environmental Factors in the Workplace Questionnaire was developed and tested from 2005 to 2007 in three phases: item generation, pretesting and pilot testing. Convenience sampling was used to obtain representative samples of the target population in the pretest and pilot test. Mailed survey methodology was used in the pretest and pilot test. Sample sizes for the pretest and pilot test were 46 and 848 respectively.
Results: Psychometric testing indicated preliminary instrument validity and reliability. Factor analysis resulted in stable factors that mirrored the conceptual basis of the questionnaire. The results summarize nurses' ratings of professionalism and environmental attributes that play a role in their work lives.
Conclusion: The questionnaire helps nurses reflect on their practice and provides a starting point for discussion, planning and implementation of methods to support professionalism in practice and healthy work environments. It is internationally relevant because professionalism is a construct that transcends culture. Confirmatory factor analysis is needed to validate the results of this study. Testing with populations in different settings and additional validity and reliability testing will strengthen the questionnaire.