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clinical nurse specialist, graduate student, Magnet, professional socialization



  1. Ares, Terri L. PhD, RN, CNS-BC


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to ascertain if clinical nurse specialist students differed on measures of professional socialization based on employment in a Magnet-oriented hospital.


Design: A secondary analysis of data from a previous national study of the socialization of clinical nurse specialist students was used. Anticipatory socialization variables (nursing leadership, workplace exposure to the role, and preconceived impression of the role), mentorship by a clinical nurse specialist, and socialization outcomes (self-concept, perceived preparedness for practice, and nursing specialty certification) were explored.


Methods: Data were divided into 2 groups: Magnet (n = 106) and non-Magnet (n = 119). Comparisons between the groups on researcher-designed items and the Professionalism and Work Ethic subscales of the Nurses Self-Description Form were analyzed.


Results: The Magnet group was more likely to be exposed to the clinical nurse specialist role in the workplace. Overall, there were no group differences in socialization outcome measures; but in the subset of students with workplace exposure to the role, those with Magnet experience had higher professionalism self-concept scores.


Conclusions: Magnet employment was not a significant socializing factor for nurses pursuing clinical nurse specialist education. The graduate program is likely the primary socializing agent for these students.