Academic Integrity and Senior Nursing Undergraduate Clinical Practice
MetadataShow full item record
Background: Academic integrity (AI) has been defined as the commitment to the values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect, and responsibility with courage in all academic endeavours. The senior years of nursing studies provide an intersection for students to transition to professional roles through student clinical practice. It is essential to understand what predicts senior nursing students’ intention to behave with AI so that efforts can be directed to initiatives focused on strengthening their commitment to behaving with AI. Research Questions: To what extent do students differ on Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) variables? What predicts intention to behave with academic integrity among senior nursing students in clinical practice across three different Canadian Schools of Nursing? Method: The TPB framework, an elicitation (n=30) and two pilot studies (n=59, n=29) resulted in the development of a 38 question (41-item) self-report survey (Miron Academic Integrity Nursing Survey—MAINS: α>0.70) that was administered to Year 3 and 4 students (N=339). Three predictor variables (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioural control) were measured with students’ intention to behave with AI in clinical. Age, sex, year of study, program stream, students’ understanding of AI policies, and locations where students accessed AI information were also measured. Results: Hierarchical multiple regression analyses revealed that background, site, and TPB variables explained 32.6% of the variance in intention to behave with academic integrity. The TPB variables explained 26.8% of the variance in intention after controlling for background and site variables. In the final model, only the TPB predictor variables were statistically significant with Attitude having the highest beta value (beta=0.35, p<0.001), followed by Subjective Norm (beta=0.21, p<0.001) and Perceived Behavioural Control (beta=0.12, p<0.02). Conclusion: Student attitude is the strongest predictor to intention to behave with AI in clinical practice and efforts to positively influence students’ attitudes need to be a focus for schools, curricula, and clinical educators. Opportunities for future research should include replicating the current study with students enrolled in other professional programs and intervention studies that examine the effectiveness of specific endeavours to promote AI in practice.