Journal of Nursing Education

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Research Briefs 

Academic Misconduct in Nursing Students: Behaviors, Attitudes, Rationalizations, and Cultural Identity

Andrea McCrink, EdD, WHNP-BC, RN

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain knowledge about academic misconduct in associate degree nursing students enrolled in two nursing programs in the northeastern United States. Study respondents (n = 193) identified the frequency of engagement in behaviors of misconduct in both the classroom and clinical setting and their attitudes toward the identified behaviors of misconduct, neutralization behaviors, ethical standards of the nursing profession, and the ethic of caring within the nursing profession. Findings were consistent with previous research on academic misconduct in baccalaureate nursing students. Analysis of self-reported cultural identities refuted the prevailing literature on academic misconduct across differing cultures and nations.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain knowledge about academic misconduct in associate degree nursing students enrolled in two nursing programs in the northeastern United States. Study respondents (n = 193) identified the frequency of engagement in behaviors of misconduct in both the classroom and clinical setting and their attitudes toward the identified behaviors of misconduct, neutralization behaviors, ethical standards of the nursing profession, and the ethic of caring within the nursing profession. Findings were consistent with previous research on academic misconduct in baccalaureate nursing students. Analysis of self-reported cultural identities refuted the prevailing literature on academic misconduct across differing cultures and nations.

Dr. McCrink is Assistant Professor of Nursing, Adelphi University, School of Nursing, Garden City, New York.

The author has no financial or proprietary interest in the materials presented herein.

The author thanks Jane H. White, PhD, APRN, BC, for her assistance in editing this manuscript.

Address correspondence to Andrea McCrink, EdD, WHNP-BC, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Adelphi University, School of Nursing, Alumnae Hall, Room 108B, Garden City, NY 11530; e-mail: amccrink@adelphi.edu.

Received: August 11, 2009
Accepted: February 10, 2010
Posted Online: August 31, 2010

The nursing profession is grounded on ethical nursing practice and an ethic of caring. Nursing practice is guided by the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics, which identifies ethics as “an integral part of the foundation of nursing” (American Nurses Association, 2001, p. 5). In every client encounter, RNs and even nursing students create a nonnegotiable tenet and commitment to be ethical practitioners. The Code of Ethics expresses the fundamental values and boundaries of duty and loyalty the nursing profession has to individual clients and society as a whole.

Perhaps the most significant foundation of the discipline of nursing is the ethic of caring, which encompasses the concern for and dedication to clients (Cook & Cullen, 2003). According to Watson (1988), caring is the moral ideal of the nursing profession, which includes “values, a will and commitment to care, knowledge, caring actions, and consequences” (p. 29). The moral ideal of the nursing profession requires RNs to demonstrate behaviors that reflect the social purpose of the nursing profession (Watson, 1979, 1988). Nurses who value the ethic of caring and practice ethically raise themselves to a higher standard of self. Anything less devalues the profession of nursing.

An erosion of integrity in institutions of higher education in the United States has been and continues to be an area of significant concern to educators at every level. In nursing education, having a strong sense of personal ethics is an expectation of all nursing students. Regrettably, nursing education has not been immune to student behaviors of academic misconduct. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to gain additional knowledge about academic misconduct in nursing education, specifically, associate degree nursing students enrolled in two nursing programs in the northeastern United States as the majority of research has primarily focused on baccalaureate nursing students.

Literature Review

Academic misconduct by nursing students is a long-standing area of concern for nurse educators and has been well documented in multiple studies (Bailey, 1990, 2001; Gaberson, 1997; Harnest, 1986; Hilbert 1985, 1987; Russian, 2003; Sheer, 1989). Research indicates that nursing students engage in a wide array of academic misconduct behaviors in classroom and clinical settings. These behaviors include obtaining examination questions from students who had taken the examination at an earlier time; committing plagiarism; discussing patients in public areas or with nonmedical personnel; recording medications, treatments, or observations as completed when they were not; falsifying patient health care records; and lying about home visits that were not completed. Therefore, academic misconduct is the intentional participation in deceptive practices regarding one’s academic work including misconduct behaviors in the classroom or clinical setting (Gaberson, 1997).

Multiple research studies indicate student attitudes toward academic misconduct are correlated to and predictive of academic misconduct behaviors (Ardvison, 2004; Bolin, 2004; Carpenter, Harding, Finelli, Montgomery, & Passow, 2006; Roig & Ballow, 1994). Arvidson (2004) found that students with tolerant attitudes toward academic misconduct were more likely to engage in behaviors of academic misconduct, whereas students who were more condemnatory of academic misconduct were less likely to engage in misconduct behaviors. Therefore, the attitudes nursing students have toward behaviors of academic misconduct may be central to understanding the reason students engage in behaviors of academic misconduct, explain the difficulty for nurse educators to monitor and control behaviors of academic misconduct, and provide opportunities to predict and influence student behaviors in the classroom and clinical setting.

According to Roberts (1997), nursing students often rationalize their unethical behaviors by denying wrongdoing, pleading time constraints, citing unfair course requirements forcing them to cheat, or shifting the blame for their behaviors onto nurse educators. Based on an individual’s ability to rationalize behaviors that seem valid to the individual but not to society as a whole, Arvidson (2004) found the use of neutralization or rationalization behaviors to be significantly and positively related to behaviors of academic misconduct. Rationalizations may, therefore, allow nursing students who engage in behaviors of academic misconduct to compromise their internal values while allowing them to maintain an outward image of honesty and integrity that is expected in the nursing profession.

Several non-nursing research studies have found varying degrees of student engagement in and attitudes toward academic misconduct along cultural and national boundaries (Burns, Davis, Hoshino, & Miller, 1998; Diekhoff, LaBeff, Shinohara, & Yasukawa, 1999; Lupton & Chapman, 2002; Magnus, Polterovich, Danilov, & Savvateev, 2002; Salter, Guffey, & McMillan, 2001). Andrews (2004) noted that “nursing students begin their ethical education long before they enter their first nursing class” (p. 28). Therefore, the influence of a personal cultural identity that consists of values, beliefs, and principles and guides behavior in nursing practice is an important concept for nurse educators to consider. As such, it may be important to reflect and question whether cultural identity, the sense of connectedness one has to a cultural group, has any impact on nursing practice in relationship to academic misconduct (Banks, 2001).

Method

Design

The research questions for this quantitative study were:

  • How often do nursing students self-report behaviors of academic misconduct?
  • How unethical do nursing students perceive behaviors of academic misconduct?
  • What attitudes do nursing students have toward neutralization behaviors, ethical standards of the nursing profession, and the ethic of caring within the nursing profession?
  • When nursing students are compared by cultural identities, do they differ in the frequency of self-reported behaviors of academic misconduct and their attitudes toward academic misconduct and neutralization behaviors, ethical standards of the nursing profession, and the ethic of caring within the nursing profession?
  • Does the frequency of student engagement in behaviors of academic misconduct and attitudes toward academic misconduct, neutralization behaviors, and ethical standards of the nursing profession predict a commitment to the ethic of caring within the nursing profession?

Instrument

The survey instrument was developed using a combination of researcher-generated items and items adapted from an extensive literature review (Arvidson, 2004; Haines, Diekhoff, LaBeff & Clark, 1986; Hilbert, 1985; Polding, 1995; Russian 2003). Content validity for the survey instrument was obtained through the use of an expert panel consisting of five full-time nurse educators with an interest in academic misconduct. Inclusion of items on the survey required acceptance by three of five expert panel members.

The responses from the expert panel were reviewed, and the final survey instrument contained two sections (parts A and B). Part A contained eight demographic items: gender, age, marital status, current grade point average, primary/native language, ethnicity, country of origin, and cultural identity. Part B contained 64 survey items and was subdivided into two sections. The first section of part B (items 1 to 45) used a 5-point Likert-type scale (strongly disagree, disagree, slightly agree, agree, and strongly agree) to collect data on nursing students’ attitudes toward neutralization behaviors (16 items), ethical standards of the nursing profession (16 items), and the ethic of caring within the nursing profession (13 items).

The second section of part B (items 46 to 64) asked study participants to report how often they engaged in the identified behaviors of academic misconduct (19 items). The possible responses included never, seldom, sometimes, often, and very often. A 5-point Likert-type scale (not unethical, slightly unethical, unethical, very unethical, and extremely unethical) was used to collect data on nursing students’ attitudes toward each of the identified behaviors of academic misconduct.

Procedure and Ethical Considerations

This study was limited to second-year nursing students enrolled in two associate degree National League for Nursing-accredited nursing programs in the northeastern United States. Nursing programs were purposely selected on the basis of diverse student populations and willingness of the programs to participate in the study. Approval for the study was obtained from the review boards of the participating institutions. Waiver of signed informed consent was granted by all participating institutions; completion of the survey was deemed as consent to participate in the study.

The quantitative surveys were distributed in multiple classroom settings. Participation in the study was voluntary. All of the participants were informed that they could withdraw at anytime without reprisal, and all of the study participants were assured of anonymity due to the nature of the study.

Data Collection and Analysis

Classes with potential study participants were identified by the contact person at each institution. Time was allotted at the end of each identified class to explain the study and solicit participation; no individual school faculty member participated in the survey process.

Surveys (N = 224) were distributed, and participants were asked to place the completed survey into an unmarked envelope that was to be immediately sealed by respondents and placed in a larger, unmarked envelope left at the front of the room. A total of 193 surveys (86%) were deemed usable for data entry and analysis; all analyses were performed using SPSS software version 13.

Results

Demographics

Students’ ages ranged from 20 to 56 (mean age = 33.5), and the overall sample consisted of 172 women (89.1%) and 21 men (10.9%). Of the 193 respondents, 98 were married (50.8%), 78 were single (40.4%), and 16 were divorced (8.3%); 1 respondent did not specify marital status. The average grade point average of the respondents was 3.38.

The majority of the respondents (n = 155, 80.3%) reported English as their primary language, followed by French (n = 16, 8.3%), Spanish (n = 13, 6.7%), and other (n = 7, 3.6%); 2 respondents did not report their primary language. Ethnicity was reported by 190 of the 193 respondents: 102 participants were Caucasian (52.8%), 38 were African American (19.7%), 22 were Latino Hispanic (11.4%), 22 were other (11.4%), and 6 were Asian (3.1%).

Cultural identity was self-reported and divided into four distinct areas. Of the 193 respondents, 123 participants (63.7%) identified themselves as American, 28 participants (14.5%) identified themselves as Caribbean, and 21 participants (10.9%) identified themselves as Western European. For the 21 respondents (10.9%) who reported their cultural identity as other, 6 respondents identified themselves as Asian, 5 respondents identified themselves as Eastern European, 4 respondents identified themselves as African, 2 respondents identified themselves as Indian, and 1 respondent identified himself or herself as Filipino; 3 respondents did not provide information on their cultural identity.

Frequency of Misconduct

The mean score for frequency of engagement in the identified behaviors of academic misconduct was 21.58 (range = 19 to 95, SD = 3.46). Table 1 shows the frequency of each academic misconduct behavior in both the classroom and clinical settings.

Frequency of Engagement in Behaviors of Academic Misconduct

Table 1: Frequency of Engagement in Behaviors of Academic Misconduct

The most common self-reported behaviors of academic misconduct included discussing clients in public places or with nonmedical personnel (35.3%), paraphrasing or copying material from another source without referencing the source (35.2%), working with other students on out-of-class assignments when not allowed (24.3%), obtaining test questions from other students (21.8%), and reporting or recording vital signs that were not taken or recalled accurately (13%). In addition, 8.8% of respondents noted they had reported or recorded client treatments that were neither performed nor observed, 6.7% reported they had recorded client responses to treatments or medications that were not assessed, and 2.1% reported they had recorded administration of medications to a client when in fact the medications had not been administered.

Attitudes Toward Academic Misconduct

The mean score for attitudes toward behaviors of academic misconduct was 81.54 (range = 19 to 95, SD = 13.98). Table 2 shows the respondents’ attitudes toward each academic misconduct behavior. The results indicated the study respondents, as a group, perceived behaviors of academic misconduct to be unethical to extremely unethical.

Attitudes Toward Behaviors of Academic Misconduct

Table 2: Attitudes Toward Behaviors of Academic Misconduct

However, certain behaviors of academic misconduct were not viewed by some study respondents as unethical. Forty-two respondents (21.7%) did not perceive working with another student on an out-of-class assignment when not allowed to be unethical, 37 respondents (19.2%) did not perceive getting test questions from other nursing students to be unethical, and 32 respondents (16.6%) did not perceive paraphrasing or copying material without appropriate referencing to be unethical.

An incongruity between student engagement in self-reported behaviors of academic misconduct and student attitudes toward the behavior was demonstrated in this study. Although 25 respondents (13%) admitted to reporting or recording vital signs that were not taken or recalled accurately, 193 respondents (100%) perceived the behavior to be unethical in varying degrees. In addition, 68 respondents (35.3%) reported discussing clients in public places or with nonmedical personnel, but 191 respondents (99%) perceived the behavior to be unethical in varying degrees. As well, 17 respondents (8.8%) admitted to reporting or recording client treatments that were neither performed nor observed, but 191 respondents (99%) perceived the behavior to be unethical in varying degrees.

Neutralization Behaviors, Ethical Standards, and Ethic of Caring

The mean score of 17.30 (range = 13 to 65, SD = 5.71) for attitudes toward neutralization behaviors indicated the majority of respondents had negative attitudes toward the use of neutralization to rationalize behaviors of academic misconduct. The mean score of 64.24 (range = 14 to 70, SD = 5.24) for attitudes toward ethical standards of the nursing profession indicated the majority of respondents had positive attitudes toward the ethical standards of the nursing profession. The mean score of 21.58 (range = 5 to 25, SD = 2.18) for attitudes toward the ethic of caring within the nursing profession indicated the majority of respondents had positive attitudes toward the ethic of caring within the nursing profession.

Cultural Identity

The analysis of variance indicated no significant differences among the four groups (American, Caribbean, Western European, and other) in the frequency of self-reported engagement in behaviors of academic misconduct and their attitudes toward behaviors of academic misconduct, neutralization behaviors, ethical standards of the nursing profession, and the ethic of caring within the nursing profession. A Dunnett T3 post hoc comparison analysis revealed no significant differences among the four groups.

Influence of Study Variables on Predicting an Ethic of Caring

The stepwise regression analysis indicated the linear combination of dimensions of respondents’ attitudes toward academic misconduct, neutralization behaviors, and ethical standards of the nursing profession was related to a commitment to the ethic of caring. The data indicated respondents’ attitudes toward ethical standards of the nursing profession made the strongest unique contribution in predicting a commitment to the ethic of caring within the nursing profession. This finding indicates that as attitudes toward ethical standards of the nursing profession grew stronger, commitment to the ethic of caring grew stronger.

Attitudes toward academic misconduct had the next highest contribution in predicting a commitment to the ethic of caring within the nursing profession. Attitudes toward neutralization behaviors had the smallest contribution in predicting a commitment to the ethic of caring within the nursing profession in this regression model. Frequency of student engagement in behaviors of academic misconduct had no predictive value to the ethic of caring within the nursing profession.

Discussion and Implications

The findings of this study are limited by the convenience sample and thus may not be representative of other students enrolled in associate degree nursing programs in the United States. In addition, the findings of this study were analyzed on self-reported behaviors and there was no validation of participants’ responses indicating their behaviors. Nevertheless, the findings are discussed as they indicate important areas for nurse educators to consider as they confront the issue of academic misconduct.

Findings indicated that associate degree nursing students participated in many of the same classroom and clinical behaviors of misconduct identified in previous research studies. Although the results of this study suggest that the majority of respondents perceived the identified behaviors of academic misconduct to be unethical, of concern to nurse educators should be the minority of students who did not perceive certain behaviors to be unethical.

One can speculate that the 37 students (19.2%) who did not identify obtaining test questions from other nursing students who had already taken a test as an unethical behavior potentially lack important nursing knowledge that can significantly and negatively impact client outcomes. The continued participation of nursing students in academic misconduct may have significant implications for client outcomes and the nursing profession.

The 68 nursing students (35.3%) who reported discussing clients in public places or with nonmedical personnel breached client confidentiality and violated national standards that are in place to protect health care information. Without question, the failure of nursing students or RNs to maintain client confidentiality in any setting violates the public’s expectation of confidentiality in all health care matters. Any breach of confidentiality is tantamount to breaking the social contract between nurses and their clients.

An interesting finding was the degree to which the respondents were able to categorize their attitudes toward the identified behaviors of academic misconduct. For example, when study respondents reported their attitudes toward the behavior of reporting or recording vital signs that were not taken or recalled accurately, 5 respondents (2.6%) perceived the behavior to be slightly unethical, 36 respondents (18.7%) perceived the behavior to be unethical, 22 respondents (11.4%) perceived the behavior to be very unethical, and 130 respondents (67.4%) perceived the behavior to be extremely unethical. Nurse educators should be concerned by students’ ability to stratify their attitudes toward the various behaviors of academic misconduct; this may allow students to protect themselves from self-blame and accepting responsibility for their actions should they decide to engage in behaviors of academic misconduct.

Self-reported findings in the study of special concern are the 25 occurrences (13%) of reporting or recording vital signs that were not taken or recalled accurately, the 19 occurrences (9.8%) of breaking sterile technique and neither reporting it nor replacing contaminated items, the 17 occurrences (8.8%) of reporting or recording treatments that were not performed or observed, the 13 occurrences (6.7%) of recording client responses to treatments or medications that were not assessed, and the 4 occurrences (2.1%) of recording medications as given when in fact the client had not received the medication. Because daily health care decisions are often based on nursing assessments and notes, nursing students need to be aware of the potential implications these behaviors can have on client outcomes and overall health care decisions made by physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. Reinforcing the relationships between errors and outcomes are a significant focus in nursing programs, especially given the Institute of Medicine’s (2004) report on errors and patient safety.

It was reassuring to note that the majority of respondents in this study had negative attitudes toward neutralization statements that would allow them to rationalize behaviors of academic misconduct and positive attitudes toward ethical standards of the nursing profession and the ethic of caring within the nursing profession. Of concern are the minority of respondents who had favorable attitudes toward the statements on neutralization; these students may become RNs who will be able to rationalize their unethical behaviors in any health care setting.

The positive attitudes toward the ethic of caring within the nursing profession in this study may indicate the prevalent belief that caring is a core value of the nursing profession. However, cautious analysis on the results of attitudes toward the ethic of caring is required because of the small range of scores (5 to 25) for attitudes toward the ethic of caring, which resulted in a small response set.

Results of this study indicated that attitudes toward ethical standards of the nursing profession made the strongest unique contribution in predicting an ethic of caring within the nursing profession, which is a core value of the nursing profession. This analysis supports the premise that caring and ethical nursing practice go hand-in-hand. Respondents’ attitudes to academic misconduct made the next highest contribution in predicting an ethic of caring. Therefore, it is imperative for nurse educators to promote ethical practice and an ethic of caring while communicating intolerance for any form of academic misconduct.

Finally, it is important to note that the findings of this study on associate degree nursing students with diverse cultural identities refuted the prevailing literature on academic misconduct in non-health care research studies across various cultures and nations. The lack of significant differences among the four cultural identities of American, Caribbean, Western European, and other may be the result of student socialization into the profession of nursing.

Conclusion

Academic misconduct behaviors in associate degree nursing students are consistent with academic misconduct behaviors in baccalaureate nursing students. Nurse educators need to remain vigilant to student behaviors of academic misconduct in both the clinical and classroom settings. In addition, students need to be provided with clearly written and comprehensive policies on academic misconduct, including definitions and examples of misconduct. Results of this study also suggest that socialization into the profession of nursing, which values ethical nursing practice and the ethic of caring, is a critical component of nursing education and a responsibility of all nurse educators.

One possible explanation for the findings in this study may be that the sample of second-year culturally diverse nursing students had been positively exposed to ethical standards of the nursing profession. Therefore, the results of this study suggest that nursing students need to be engaged at the very beginning of all nursing courses to lay the groundwork for socialization into the profession.

A replication of this study with first-year associate degree nursing students is recommended and could provide additional insight on student attitudes toward ethical standards of the nursing profession and especially the ethic of caring within the nursing profession; this question was not fully addressed in this study because of low response rate. The lack of statistical significance among the four diverse cultural identities in relationship to academic misconduct may signify client well-being and positive outcomes in future nursing practice.

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Frequency of Engagement in Behaviors of Academic Misconduct

BehaviorNevern(%)Seldomn(%)Sometimesn(%)Oftenn(%)Very Oftenn(%)
Getting test questions from another student who has taken the examination or quiz at an earlier time151 (78.2)29 (15)10 (5.2)3 (1.6)0
Copying from another nursing student’s test without his or her knowledge187 (96.9)4 (2.1)2 (1)00
Copying from another nursing student’s test with his or her knowledge187 (96.9)4 (2.1)2 (1)00
Receiving answers from another nursing student during a test188 (96.9)4 (2.1)1 (0.5)00
Allowing another nursing student to copy answers from you during a test179 (92.7)9 (4.7)5 (2.6)00
Using notes, books, or cell phones during a closed book test to gain answers192 (99.5)1 (0.5)000
Paraphrasing or copying material from another source without referencing the source125 (64.8)51 (26.4)17 (8.8)00
Working with another student on an out-of-class assignment when not allowed by the instructor146 (75.6)27 (14)19 (9.8)1 (0.5)0
Developing a personal relationship with the nursing professor to gain information about the test186 (96.4)4 (2.2)3 (1.6)00
Coming to the clinical area and providing client care under the influence of drugs, including alcohol193 (100)0000
Not reporting an incident or error that involves a client185 (95.9)7 (3.6)1 (0.5)00
Reporting or recording treatments that were not performed or observed176 (91.2)13 (6.7)4 (2.1)00
Recording medications as given when they were not given189 (97.9)3 (1.6)1 (0.5)00
Recording client responses to treatments or medications that were not assessed180 (93.3)10 (5.2)2 (1)1 (0.5)0
Reporting or recording vital signs that were not taken or recalled accurately168 (87)21 (10.9)4 (2.1)00
Attempting to perform a procedure on a client without adequate knowledge or failing to obtain guidance from the instructor183 (94.8)9 (4.7)1 (0.5)00
Breaking sterile technique and neither reporting it nor replacing contaminated items174 (90.2)18 (9.3)1 (0.5)00
Losing, breaking, or damaging clients’ belongings and not reporting it189 (97.9)4 (2.1)000
Discussing clients in public places or with nonmedical personnel125 (64.8)43 (22.3)21 (10.9)4 (2.1)

Attitudes Toward Behaviors of Academic Misconduct

AttitudeNot Unethicaln(%)Slightly Unethicaln(%)Unethicaln(%)Very Unethicaln(%)Extremely Unethicaln(%)
Getting test questions from another student who has taken the examination or quiz at an earlier time9 (4.7)28 (14.5)62 (32.1)35 (18.1)59 (30.6)
Copying from another nursing student’s test without his or her knowledge2 (1)2 (1)38 (19.7)26 (13.5)125 (64.8)
Copying from another nursing student’s test with his or her knowledge1 (0.5)4 (2.1)41 (21.2)40 (20.7)107 (55.4)
Receiving answers from another nursing student during a test1 (0.5)4 (2.1)39 (20.2)39 (20.2)110 (57)
Allowing another nursing student to copy answers from you during a test06 (3.1)46 (23.8)36 (18.7)105 (54.4)
Using notes, books, or cell phones during a closed book test to gain answers1 (0.5)3 (1.6)38 (19.7)31 (16.1)120 (62.2)
Paraphrasing or copying material from another source without referencing the source3 (1.6)29 (15)52 (26.9)33 (17.1)76 (39.4)
Working with another student on an out-of-class assignment when not allowed by the instructor12 (6.2)30 (15.5)49 (25.4)33 (17.1)69 (35.8)
Developing a personal relationship with the nursing professor to gain information about the test4 (2.1)7 (3.6)48 (24.9)25 (13)109 (56.5)
Coming to the clinical area and providing client care under the influence of drugs, including alcohol2 (1)1 (0.5)19 (9.8)7 (3.6)164 (85)
Not reporting an incident or error that involves a client1 (0.5)4 (2.1)31 (16.1)19 (9.8)138 (71.5)
Reporting or recording treatments that were not performed or observed2 (1)4 (2.1)30 (15.5)21 (10.9)136 (70.5)
Recording medications as given when they were not given1 (0.5)1 (0.5)27 (14)14 (7.3)150 (77.7)
Recording client responses to treatments or medications that were not assessed2 (1)3 (1.6)29 (15)23 (13.5)133 (68.9)
Reporting or recording vital signs that were not taken or recalled accurately05 (2.6)36 (18.7)22 (11.4)130 (67.4)
Attempting to perform a procedure on a client without adequate knowledge or failing to obtain guidance from the instructor1 (0.5)5 (2.6)34 (17.6)22 (11.4)131 (67.9)
Breaking sterile technique and neither reporting it nor replacing contaminated items1 (0.5)3 (1.6)35 (18.1)34 (17.6)120 (62.2)
Losing, breaking, or damaging clients’ belongings and not reporting it1 (0.5)1 (0.5)37 (19.2)30 (15.5)124 (64.2)
Discussing clients in public places or with nonmedical personnel2 (1)5 (2.6)47 (24.4)30 (15.5)109 (56.5)
Authors

Dr. McCrink is Assistant Professor of Nursing, Adelphi University, School of Nursing, Garden City, New York.

The author has no financial or proprietary interest in the materials presented herein.

Address correspondence to Andrea McCrink, EdD, WHNP-BC, RN, Assistant Professor of Nursing, Adelphi University, School of Nursing, Alumnae Hall, Room 108B, Garden City, NY 11530; e-mail: .amccrink@adelphi.edu

10.3928/01484834-20100831-03

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