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Keywords:

  • professionalization;
  • professional autonomy;
  • female socialization]

Relationships between selected demographic characteristics and professional nursing autonomy were examined. Identification of such relationships can strengthen development of the professional nursing role. Usable responses were returned by 542 RNs in a random sample of 2,000 nurses from four states. The Personal Attributes Questionnaire (Spence, Helmreich, & Stapp, 1974) and Nursing Activity Scale (Schutzenhofer, 1987) were used. Significant relationships were noted among autonomy and the following: nursing education, practice setting, clinical specialty, functional role, membership in professional organizations, and gender stereotyped personality traits.