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Towards a values-based person specification for recruitment of compassionate nursing and midwifery candidates: A study of registered and student nurses' and midwives' perceptions of prerequisite attributes and key skills

Waugh, Anne; Smith, Dave; Horsburgh, Dorothy; Gray, Morag


Anne Waugh

Dorothy Horsburgh

Morag Gray



Selection and retention of preregistration nursing and midwifery students are issues that exercise educators, universities and commissioning bodies both nationally and internationally. It has recently become an expectation that a values-based approach is used within recruitment and selection activities in the UK. The desirability of a person specification to support transparent recruitment and selection is well recognised.

An online survey of registered and student nurses and midwives found consensus around the desirability of several personal attributes and key skills. There was consensus in the top seven ranked attributes which were honesty and trustworthiness, communication skills, being a good listener, patience and tactfulness, sensitivity and compassion, the ability to seek and act on guidance and being a good team worker; this was between registered and unregistered nurses and midwives and also between participants representing all fields of nursing and midwifery practice. Some of the responses from Practice Education Facilitators (PEFs) (n = 5) and senior managers (n = 15) differed from those of other registrants surveyed. The attribute ‘Able to draw on knowledge and experience’ was considered more important by PEFs and ‘Observant and able to act on your own initiative within your level of responsibility’ and ‘Able to draw on knowledge and experience’ were ranked more highly by senior managers.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2014-09
Deposit Date May 8, 2015
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Electronic ISSN 1532-2793
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Issue 9
Pages 1190-1195
Keywords Recruitment; Selection; Nurse/midwife; Preregistration student; Candidate; Person specification; Values;
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