Development and psychometric evaluation of the nurse caring patient scale
A metasynthesis of 90 published qualitative studies was conducted on the nurses’, students’, and patients’ perception of nurse caring. A mid-range theory of Nurse Caring emerged from the data, including three attributes: Presence, Concern for the Other, Knowledgeable, Competent Care, and Respect for the Person. The Nurse Caring Patient Scale (NCPS) was developed from patient descriptors within the metasynthesis. NCPS was tested to establish the psychometric properties of the instrument with 341 adult acute in-patients of a northeastern United States metropolitan teaching medical center. Initial reliability for total NCPS was .92. Factor analysis using principal components analysis with varimax rotation resulted in a parsimonious three factor solution that accounted for 50.49 % of the total variance. The final NCPS was 23 items with an alpha of .91. Component 1 (Presence, Concern for the Other) was comprised of 11 items with an alpha of .89. Component 2 (Knowledgeable, Competent Care) contained five items with an alpha of .77. Component 3 (Respect for the Person) had seven items and an alpha of .73. Participants were asked to write about an experience with a nurse. Components of caring and uncaring experiences described by participants did not add to the body of data from the metasynthesis or to the items of the NCPS. This study was limited by sample population, and the items of NCPS may be applicable only to those included in the synthesized qualitative studies. The metasynthesis of qualitative studies and mid-range theory of Nurse Caring add to the theoretical concept of caring by including the patients’ perceptions of the nurse-patient encounter. Components of Nurse Caring add competency, and respect to presence with the patient for a comprehensive definition of caring. NCPS offers nurses and administrators a valid reliable measure for patient perceptions of quality of care and satisfaction that were until now unseen and unmeasured. The theory of Nurse Caring provides nurse educators with a framework for nursing curricula, since the theory incorporates all aspects of nursing practice within its definition.