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Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire: reliability and factor structure with Master’s in Nursing graduates

Authors


J. Drennan: e-mail: Jonathan.Drennan@ucd.ie

Abstract

Title. Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire: reliability and factor structure with Master’s in Nursing graduates.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to measure the psychometric properties of the Postgraduate Experience Questionnaire when used to evaluate the research experience of graduates who had completed Master’s in Nursing programmes.

Background.  Evidence of standards and outcomes of Master's in Nursing programmes is lacking, despite their continuing growth worldwide. The Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire was introduced to evaluate the research experience of graduates. The instrument is a multidimensional measure of graduate students’ experiences of research and research supervision. Six constructs that comprise the research experience of graduates are measured: the supervision process, academic climate, goals and expectations, infrastructure, skill development and the dissertation examination process.

Method.  A cross-sectional postal survey of graduates from coursework Master’s in Nursing programmes in Ireland was undertaken in 2006. The response rate was 71%. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis were used to test construct validity, while internal consistency measures were used to test reliability.

Results.  Factor analysis identified a six-factor solution, as hypothesized by the instrument’s developers. According to oblique rotation and confirmatory factor analysis, the majority of scales that comprise the instrument were relatively robust. Internal consistency measures identified that the six scales were reliable.

Conclusion.  The construct validity of Postgraduate Research Experience Questionnaire when psychometrically evaluated with coursework master’s graduates differed slightly from the factor structure reported in the literature for the original scale. However, overall, adequate estimates of reliability and validity were found when the instrument was used to evaluate the research experience of graduates who complete a supervised dissertation as part of their degree.

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