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ORIGINAL RESEARCH

 

Enterprising profile of teachers of the nursing course at a public university

 

Cassieli Beatrice TossinI, Larissa Gutierrez de Carvalho da SilvaII, Mariana Ângela RossaneisIII; Maria do Carmo Fernandez Lourenço HaddadIV

INurse Specialist in Nursing Care Management. Guarapuava, Paraná, Brazil. E-mail: cassieli.tossin@gmail.com
IINurse. PhD in Nursing. Professor, Department of Nursing, State University of Londrina. Paraná, Brazil. E-mail: larissagutierrez@yahoo.com.br
IIINurse. PhD in Nursing. Professor, Department of Nursing, State University of Londrina. Paraná, Brazil. E-mail: marianarossaneis@gmail.com
IVNurse, PhD in Nursing. Associate Professor of the State University of Londrina. Paraná, Brazil. E-mail: haddad@sercomtel.com.br

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12957/reuerj.2017.22233

 

 


ABSTRACT

Objective: to analyze the tendency of teachers of the nursing course of a public state university to be enterprising. Method: a quantitative cross-sectional study with 85 nursing teachers accomplished in December 2014 to February 2015, applying the General Measure of Enterprising Tendency (GET) test, along with sociodemographic and occupational questions. The project was approved by the research ethics committee of the Londrina State University, Paraná (CAAE 36742514.40000.5231). Results: the interviewees' tendency to be enterprising was medium to high and, among those who scored high, need for autonomy was the dimension most prevalent in the analysis. Scores were low in the calculated risk taking dimension. Conclusion: being enterprising in nursing needs to be addressed in the academic environment, because it influences nurses' social and professional development of Nursing. Strategies need to be encouraged to disseminate a culture of being enterprising among nursing students and teachers.

Keywords: Nursing faculty; nursing; professional competence; entrepreneurship.


 

 

INTRODUCTION

The growing need for improvement and development of competencies by health professionals derives from the insertion of new technologies in the labor market; the imminent mandatory professional specialization; the need for quality care to be provided; the rational use of limited resources; and the guarantee of equity, universality and integrality of care in the Unified Health System1.

In this process of improvement, nurses have expanded and innovated in their professional performance by creating enterprises based on the needs and opportunities of the labor market2. This new perspective fosters the development of innovative skills in health management, material control, supervision and organization of human resources, stimulating these professionals to expand their field of activity and develop an entrepreneurial profile3.

Entrepreneurship can be defined as the individual's ability to develop skills to manage and seize business opportunities and to invent and perfect processes, whether individually or in groups2.

In nursing, entrepreneurship is identified as a necessary competence to be stimulated and developed in the training process of nurses, with the purpose of adding value to the community and work environment. In this context, competence is understood as a set of knowledge, skills and attitudes important for professionals, for their efficient and effective development of attributions2.

Under this interface, teachers are fundamental articulators in the promotion and development of a process of change and in the promotion of an entrepreneurial culture, since these practices increase the chances of success and professional quality and stimulate the innovation of self-sustaining management and care actions4.

Thus, the present study aims to analyze the entrepreneurial tendency of interdisciplinary teachers of the nursing course of a public state university.

The academic space, particularly the higher education, which is a propeller of technical-scientific knowledge that gives opportunity to the formation and change of social values, must generate and reproduce the knowledge starting from a realistic practice and an extended, systemic and integral analysis of the context in which individuals are inserted4.

To make this complex teaching-learning process possible, the knowledge of several professional areas is necessary in the training of nurses. This characteristic is justified by its strong multi-professional and interdisciplinary interdependence. The variety of disciplines supports the scientifity of nursing and its need to seek common knowledge in various fields, as well as to strengthen and cooperate with communication between professions8.

Considering entrepreneurship as a nursing competence, the importance of the development of the present study is justified by the innovative and positive impact of the entrepreneurial profile of teachers has had on educational practices.

 

METHODOLOGY

This is a cross-sectional, quantitative study, carried out between November 2014 and January 2015, having as study population the faculty of a nursing course at a public state university in Paraná.

The research participants were part of an institution where the Undergraduate Nursing Course adopted an interdisciplinary teaching perspective, using active methodologies and problematizing, which was called the integrated curriculum. This course received concept 4 in the National Examination of Student Performance (Enade/2013) carried out by the Ministry of Education (MEC), which evaluates the students' performance in relation to the programmatic contents of the curricular guidelines of undergraduate courses in Brazil9.

The criterion of inclusion was being a teacher who performed at least one class in the Undergraduate Nursing Course from January to December of 2014. As exclusion criteria, teachers on leave for any reason were not included. Data were collected using a self-applied tool called the General Entrepreneurial Tendency Test (GET), developed by Sally Caird and Mr Cliff Johnson,at the Business and Industrial Training Unit at Durtham University Business School, which has been duly validated and has a broad approach in several professional areas10,11. In this test, the answers are distributed into five different sections, denominated entrepreneurial tendencies or dimensions. They are: need for accomplishment; creativity; ability to take risks; impulse/determination; and autonomy/independence. Each tendency has a final score that identifies whether the individual has a certain dimension. The score ranges from 0-12, except for the tendency autonomy/independence, that varies 0-6. The sum of all tendencies provides a general score that classifies the entrepreneurial tendency of the individual as low, medium, or high.

The GET allows the self-evaluation of the respondent. It consists of 54 statements, which are characterized as stimuli, and can be answered positively (YES) or negatively (NO). These stimuli are related to the entrepreneurial attitudes associated with entrepreneurial behavior 12.

The GET was transcribed in full length in an online electronic questionnaire in the Google Docs® application, including the Free and Informed Consent Term prepared according to the requirements of Resolution nº466/2012 of the National Health Council, as well as questions of characterization of the population, namely: gender; age; professional qualification; undergraduate course; year of graduation; time of experience as a teacher; occupation area; bond; health area in which works; exclusivity (or not) of professional action ; weekly workload as a teacher and workload in other professional bonds.

After approval by the Research Ethics Committee under CAAE nº. 36742514.4.0000.5231, the university's nursing collegiate was asked to provide a list with the name, telephone number and electronic address of the professors who taught at least one course in the Undergraduate Nursing Course in the year of 2014. With this, a first contact via electronic mail was made to invitate the professional to participate in the research.

In case the teacher did not respond to the questionnaire on the first attempt, three further attempts were made by electronic mail, with a seven-day interval between each attempt; later, if the there was no reply, a telephone and/or face-to-face contact was made.

Ninety nine teachers met the inclusion criteria, and 85 answered the questionnaire, one rejected the invitation to participate, three electronic and telephone contacts did not exist and ten did not respond to contact attempts.

After answering the questionnaire, the data were transferred to the Microsoft Excel 2010® and to the SPSS® software for statistical analysis of the results.

 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

The study had the participation of 85 teachers with a median age of 45 years, with a minimum of 26 and a maximum of 63 years. From these, 59 were nurses and 26 had other professional training, such as biomedicine (2), biological sciences (7), social sciences (1), pharmacy (5), biochemistry (2), physical therapy (1), mathematics (1), medicine (5), nutrition (1) and dentistry (1). Still, 48 participants were exclusively teachers of the nursing course and 37 were teachers in two or more undergraduate courses. In terms of post-graduation, 2.35% of the participants were post-doctors, 70.58% had PhD, 24.70% were masters and 2.35% were specialists.

The GET General Score identified that 97% of teachers had a medium entrepreneurial tendency, followed by 3% with high and low tendencies.

As for the classification of teachers in the dimensions of the test, it was identified that 50.6% had a high tendency to autonomy/independence, and medium profile for the other dimensions, namely: need for accomplishment (58.8%), creativity (54.1%), ability to take risks (55.3%) and impulse/determination (51.8%).

For better presentation of the results and subsequent statistical analysis, the interviewees who had three or higher entrepreneurial tendencies were grouped and classified as having high entrepreneurial profile. In this perspective, 19 (23.1%) teachers presented three or more high scores in the GET, but none had high scores in the five dimensions. The distribution of the frequency of high scores by dimension was: 84.21% participants with high entrepreneurial tendency for autonomy/independence; 73.68% for impulse/determination; 68.42% for need for accomplishment; 57.89% for creativity; and 42.10% for risk ability to take risks.

The Wald's Chi-Square test showed no significant statistical relation (p < 0.05) between the high entrepreneurial profile of the teachers and the dependent variables gender, age, year of graduation, experience as a teacher, undergraduate course, exclusive teaching activity, type of bond and professional training, as presented in Table 1.

TABLE 1: Distribution of sociodemographic and occupational characteristics and analysis of teachers of the undergraduate nursing course of a public university who had high entrepreneurial tendency in three or more dimensions. Paraná, 2015.

In this study, women presented higher proportions of high entrepreneurial tendencies compared to men. There is a growing development of female entrepreneurship in the world and studies show that the entrepreneurial women face social, economic and political challenges different from those faced by men13. In many countries, the training, education and qualification of women is a relevant factor in the development of entrepreneurship, because in this case, women gain confidence and begin to believe more in themselves, often contradicting cultural values, attitudes and traditions14.

Another result showed that, among the studied dimensions, autonomy/independence stood out as the most frequent tendency among teachers with a high entrepreneurial profile, contrasting with the result of a study15 carried out with nursing students who also used the GET, and which presented low autonomy/independence.

This result may be a reflection of what the literature discusses as the maturation of relations between individuals and that collectively autonomy is also developed through changes in power relations of the individual towards the environment, what can be constructed through experience. In this context, nursing teachers of the present study were mostly individuals over 40 years of age and with more than 10 years of professional experience, different from the nursing students who in their training process may still be submissive to the institutional power of the academy 16,17.

In one of its definitions, autonomy is described as the capacity for self-government, whether it can be used or not. It also considers freedom of judgment in decision-making regarding needs, which is developed in the participation in relational processes16,17.

In the scope of entrepreneurship, autonomy is an attitude incorporated into the entrepreneurial personality and valued in environments that demand a leadership and positions that require trustfulness. The work environment of the university nursing teachers and of nurses, in their various branches, gives them the capacity for self-government, leadership and involvement with people, making autonomy a necessary competence for both professions 18.

In the teaching field, the autonomy is exercised by teachers through their commitment to the community and their moral obligation as facilitators and constructors of knowledge. It is also considered that they can stimulate students to exercise and develop their autonomy both inside and outside the classroom through their example and encouragement16,17.

One characteristic of the studied population is the use of active methodologies in the interdisciplinary perspective of teaching. In relation to this particularity, studies have highlighted the influence of problem-based learning as a mechanism to encourage autonomy, by making the learner protagonist of his learning and responsible for building his knowledge19,20.

The second most frequent dimension among teachers with a high entrepreneurial tendency was the impulse/determination. Individuals with a high tendency in this dimension are characterized as people who consider themselves solely responsible for the results achieved before the proposed objectives; for this, they tend to exert great efforts in the planned activities, and they control the environment, the results and the actions of those involved21.

As facilitators in the process of knowledge construction, teachers need to be coherent in their attitudes and pedagogical proposals, so as to reach success at approaching the students through attitudinal learning. Therefore, by expressing self-confidence, exemplifying the opportunities well used throughout their professional career, and exposing their determination to students, they will be able to positively influence these future nurses5.

These characteristics are in line with the versatility that nurses experience on a daily basis, as they develop their activities in different working scenarios, manage people and carry out administrative actions. This justifies the importance of incorporating impulse/determination tendencies in the construction of their professional profile15,22,23.

The study identified a low incidence of creative tendency among teachers with high entrepreneurial profile. When considering the Law on Guidelines and Bases of Education (LGB), which describes that one of the purposes of Higher Education is to stimulate creativity, reflective thinking and the development of the scientific spirit24 and that other authors 5 reinforce that allowing the exercise of creativity is one of the purposes of teaching and learning to become a nurse and practice nursing, this trend should be more present among educators.

Teaching creativity reflects positively on nurses. To exemplify its importance in nursing, an Iranian study25 that explored the nurses' perception of their experiences with the use and results of creative actions in hospital settings identified the following benefits of creativity: communication with patients; changes in the work process; creation of medical equipment for permanent consumption; improvements in the quality of work and personal life through professional satisfaction; increased self-confidence and promotion of organization of the environment. Therefore, the growing stimulus towards development of creativity and innovation in nursing care and management areas is intended to improve health care outcomes and reduce costs25.

The ability to take risks was the less frequent dimension among teachers with high entrepreneurial profile. This entrepreneurial characteristic reveal individuals who tend to be more decisive, to exercise self-knowledge, act despite incomplete information, value their abilities, calculate the probability of success of an action, demonstrate ambition, and establish challenging and attainable goals11.

There was a high incidence of teachers over the age of 40, statutory bond, exclusive dedication, and professional training at doctoral level. A relationship between these characteristics and propensity towards professional stability26 is revealed in national and international studies26-28, and may be related to the low frequency of the ability of taking risks.

Professional stability is associated with a public career and is sometimes a factor that inhibits the employee from leaving his comfort zone to pursue new challenges, reducing his propensity to take calculated risks. The immersion of the teacher in a context where the didactics and teaching methodology tend to follow the globalization of knowledge and technological evolution, values audacious characteristics with tolerance to challenges 29.

For nursing, the propensity to take calculated risks is important due to the existence of circumstances that require a sense of urgency and the ability to perform activities in a short time, demanding from the nurses a posture of adventuring and immediately correcting mistakes 22.

Finally, the dimension need for accomplishment, identified in approximately 68% of teachers with high entrepreneurial tendency, reveals individuals who are always encouraged to improve their performance and create standards of excellence. The relationship between the need for accomplishment and the entrepreneurial profile is strong and significant, as well as reveals fundamental characteristics of the nursing practice, since this is a profession where individuals need to be motivated, committed to goals and objectives and need to develop their leading potential within their team 30,31.

 

CONCLUSION

The nursing faculty approached in this study has a medium to high entrepreneurial tendency and, among teachers with high entrepreneurial profile, the autonomy/independence domain was the most prevalent tendency. This characteristic is important because it serves as a model for the student, influencing the professional profile of future nurses.

The low objective score on the propensity to take calculated risks also stood out. This result, concerning teachers with statutory bond, exclusive dedication and professional qualification at doctoral level, is contrary to expectations, as their characteristics are supposed to show more boldness and confidence, reinforcing an entrepreneurial teaching profile. This could stimulate students to set ambitious and attainable goals, identify and evaluate benefits in audacious actions or instigate the student to self-assessment, characteristics that are valued in the labor market and that are part of the entrepreneurial profile.

Limitations of the present study are related to the lack of national and international research with the same objective and target population; the self-applied electronic instrument that is widely used in the business but not in the educational area; and the resistance of some teachers to participate, who later reported being unaware the proposed method.

Entrepreneurship needs to be stimulated in the academic world because of its significant influence on the economic and social development of the country and because of the nursing profession itself. Therefore, it is expected that the present study help the advancement and delineation of strategies of dissemination of the entrepreneurial culture in the academic environment and be able to instigate entrepreneurship among nursing professors.

 

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