Educational degrees strongly impact professional development. In Japan, no studies have examined the relationship between educational degrees and nursing professionalism. The aim of this study is to examine the effect of educational degrees on nursing professionalism among Japanese nurses. Wheel of professionalism in nursing model was applied as a theoretical framework and the corresponding inventory, behavioral inventory for professionalism in nursing, was used to measure the relationship between education and level of professionalism. A total of 2,972 surveys were distributed and 1,846 respondents returned surveys from 25 hospitals in the random sample in Japan. The results revealed that nursing professionalism was related significantly to higher educational preparation (F=154.47, p<0.0001) by a one-way ANOVA, and the Tukey-Kramer multiple comparison test revealed that graduate degree was significantly associated with high scores of professionalism (p<0.0001). The correlation and regression analyses also showed a moderate to strong relationship between education preparation and nursing professionalism (r=0.20, p<0.0001; β=0.52, p<0.0001). The results confirm that higher level of educational preparation, especially graduate degree, is associated with higher nursing professionalism. Awareness of important professional factors is essential to continually maintain nursing professionalism.
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