Nursing Leadership

Nursing Leadership 18(3) September 2005 : 68-82.doi:10.12927/cjnl.2005.17619
Nursing Research

Are Skills Learned in Nursing Transferable to Other Careers?

Christine Duffield, Linda O'Brien-Pallas and Leanne M. Aitken


Objective: To determine the influence of skills gained in nursing on the transition to a non-nursing career.

Background: Little is known about the impact that nursing skills have on the transition to new careers or about the transferability of nursing skills to professions outside nursing.

Method: A postal questionnaire was mailed to respondents who had left nursing. The questionnaire included demographic, nursing education and practice information, reasons for entering and leaving nursing, perceptions of the skills gained in nursing and the ease of adjustment to a new career. Data analysis included exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, Pearson product moment correlations and linear and multiple regression analysis.

Results: Skills learned as a nurse that were valuable in acquiring a career outside nursing formed two factors, including "management of self and others" and "knowledge and skills learned," explaining 32% of the variation. The highest educational achievement while working as a nurse, choosing nursing as a "default choice," leaving nursing because of "worklife/homelife balance" and the skills of "management of self and others" and "knowledge and skills" had a significant relationship with difficulty adjusting to a non-nursing work role and, overall, explained 28% of the variation in this difficulty adjusting.

Conclusion: General knowledge and skills learned in nursing prove beneficial in adjusting to roles outside nursing.



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