Nurses have been called to be leaders in the transformation of health care and to help improve health-care access for the nation’s most vulnerable populations. However, to lead health-care transformation, the profession of nurses must first see themselves as leaders. Unfortunately, nursing has been described as lacking cohesiveness and failing to communicate a consistent brand image. No empirically tested quantitative tools exist to measure the brand identity of nursing, making it difficult to assess where the profession stands in regard to the mantel of leadership. The purpose of this study was to develop empirically sound instruments which could measure nurses’ perceptions of their professional brand image. A total of three scales were developed and then tested: The Nursing Brand Image Scale, Nursing’s Current Brand Position Scale and Nursing’s Desired Brand Position Scale.
The factor structure and internal consistency reliability of each scale were examined following survey administration to a national sample of registered nurses. Principal component analyses were used to explore the factor structure of each scale. Item reduction was achieved through examination of the loading of items across the factors and the impact of the item on internal consistency reliability.
Respondents to the survey were nursing alumni who received a baccalaureate or master’s degree in nursing at a private, mid-western university, and nursing faculty affiliated with a private, collegiate network (n = 286). For all scales, principal component analysis showed no inter-item correlations >0.9 or <0.1. The Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin measure for sampling adequacy was high and Bartlett’s test of sphericity was significant (p < 0001). The internal consistency reliability of each of the three scales was good to excellent. Current brand position mean scores were highest for the factor “caring advocates for patients/public”, and lowest on “influential leaders”. The most desired brand position mean scores were highest and rated similarly for factors “influential leaders” and “patient-centered caregivers”.
This study provides strong preliminary evidence for the factor structure and internal consistency reliability for each of the three scales and represents an important first step toward quantitatively measuring the brand image of nursing. However, results suggest there is work to be done if nursing is to formulate and adopt a brand image that consistently reinforces their role as leaders. Further testing of the scales with other nursing populations, the general public and with larger sample sizes is recommended.
This paper forms part of a special section “Issues in healthcare and pharmacology for vulnerable populations”, guest edited by J. Michael Weber.
Godsey, J.A., Hayes, T., Schertzer, C. and Kallmeyer, R. (2018), "Development and testing of three unique scales measuring the brand image of nursing", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 2-14. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-09-2016-0052
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