Longitudinal study on factors affecting assertiveness among preceptors of novice nurses
Purpose: This study aims to understand the assertiveness of preceptors of novice nurses and factors affecting the assertiveness through a longitudinal perspective. Methods: Anonymous self-rating questionnaire surveys were administered to 1292 preceptors working in participating city and university hospitals across Japan (August, 2013 (baseline) and March, 2014 (second survey)). The surveys had question items from the Japanese version of the Rathus Assertiveness Schedule (J-RAS, 30 items), demographic details of the participants, evaluation of novice nurses by preceptors, instruction framework, self-evaluation of preceptors, working environment, and a burnout inventory (Japanese version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Services Survey, 22 items). Bivariate analyses (T-tests and one-way analysis of variance) were conducted using assertiveness of the second survey as the objective variable, and other items of the baseline survey as explanatory variables. Selecting variables with p values smaller than 0.2 obtained in the bivariate analysis as explanatory variables, a multiple linear regression analysis (Stepwise method) was conducted. For the analyses, we used a statistics analysis software, SPSS Statistic 22. Results: Choosing 836 valid respondents of the baseline survey as a cohort group, we repeated the survey 8 months after the baseline survey to identify the factors affecting the assertiveness of preceptors of novice nurses. Excluding 62 who had missing values in the question items for assertiveness, 472 participants who were followed were included in analyses. As the results, following factors were found to affect the assertiveness: thinking that ‘they make rapid decisions’, and that ‘they are valuable as others’. Further, participants who have higher total burnout scores had lower assertiveness. Adjusted coefficient of determination was 0.153. Discussion: It can be inferred that the assertiveness of preceptors is higher than that of novice nurses measured by the J-RAS used in this study, and lower than that of administrative nurses. The assertiveness of preceptors was higher among participants who evaluated themselves positively, thinking that ‘they make rapid decisions’, and that ‘they are valuable as others’. It was also found that higher ‘total burnout scores’ was a factor that lowers the assertiveness. These findings suggest that a positive self-evaluation improves assertiveness and helps to prevent burnout.