This longitudinal study describes the factors associated with the acquisition of a professional identity over the course of prelicensure education among 45 baccalaureate nursing students. At every time point, personal spiritual growth practices and the students’ perceptions of their caring abilities predicted sense of fit with the profession. Even as there is a growing emphasis of quality and safety education, caring and spirituality remain central to nurses’ professional identities on entry to practice.
Author Affiliations: Assistant Professor (Dr Hensel) and Assistant Clinical Professor (Ms Laux), School of Nursing, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Correspondence: Dr Hensel, Indiana University, 1033 E 3rd Street, SY444, Bloomington, IN 47405 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Accepted for publication: April 17, 2014
Published ahead of print date: May 23, 2014