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Keywords:

  • continuous professional development;
  • instrument development;
  • instrument validation;
  • learning styles;
  • nurses;
  • questionnaire;
  • situation–response design

Abstract

Title. The development and validation of the On-the-job Learning Styles Questionnaire for the Nursing Profession

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to develop and test the psychometric properties of the On-the-job Learning Style Questionnaire for the Nursing Profession.

Background.  Although numerous questionnaires measuring learning styles have been developed, none are suitable for working environments. Existing instruments do not meet the requirements for use in workplace settings and tend to ignore the influence of different learning situations.

Method.  The questionnaire was constructed using a situation–response design, measuring learning activities in different on-the-job learning situations. Content validity was ensured by basing the questionnaire on interview studies. The questionnaire was distributed to 912 Registered Nurses working in different departments of 13 general hospitals in the Netherlands at the end of 2005.

Findings.  The response rate was 41% (372 questionnaires). The internal factor structure of the questionnaire was partly based on the learning activities in which nurses participate and partly on the learning situation in which they are performed. The internal consistency was good. The situation–response design of the questionnaire demonstrated its added value. Construct validity was estimated using intercorrelations between the scales, and criterion validity was estimated based on the relationships of the scales with perceived professional competence.

Conclusion.  The On-the-job Learning Styles Questionnaire for the Nursing Profession is well suited to describing nurses’ learning styles in on-the-job settings and has satisfactory psychometric properties.