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Abstract

The Professional Performance Examination has four subtests of professional nursing performance: leadership, collaboration, research, and management of client care. If these four elements characterize the professional rather than the technical nurse, and if this test is representative of these elements, professional and technical nurses should be differentiated. Two alternate forms of each of the four subtests were administered to 86 subjects graduating from 12 associate degree nursing programs and 83 subjects graduating from 11 bachelor degree programs. Results showed no difference in leadership, collaboration, and management subtest scores, but the bachelors degree group scored significantly higher than the associate degree on the research subtest. These results suggested that either the test was not sensitive enough to detect all differences between the two groups, or the associate degree and bachelor degree subjects were not as different as generally supposed.