Adib Hagbaghery, M., Kashan Medical University, Iran
A group of international experts in WHO recently concluded that nursing services are in crisis. This crisis mainly is a result of poor planned workforce policies that do not work well. One of the problems lies in the way of student selection in nursing schools. these schools usually use standard tests like SAT (scholastic aptitude test) or some informal tests for measurement of academic capabilities and admission of nursing students. However good academic capabilities do not guarantee the quality of clinical performance of students after graduation. Depending to the type of services or products, each job needs some special knowledge and skills as well as some personality characteristics. By education we can produce or improve these knowledge and skills, but personality characteristics are inherent and education may not much influence on them. Because of the nature of nursing, nurses should have characteristics like: a sense of responsibility ,concern for others, good interpersonal relationship, ability to lead and teach others and many other characteristics, therefore nursing schools should select students that have these pre-requisite characteristics in advance. If they have not these characteristics, they cannot accommodate him/ herselves with the demands of job, therefore the rate of attrition would increased, and the quality of nursing care would decreased. It appear that this problem have occurred in nursing. For example in Chile out of 18000 nurses in the country, only 8000 are actively working in the field. Also many reports indicate that the rate of attrition among nursing students is high and specially increases after the first year. In Iran, nursing students are selected by university entrance examination, a comprehensive exam that measures the high school knowledge and academic capabilities of all volunteers who want to enter universities. This study was designed by the aim of suggesting an appropriate strategy for selection of nursing students by evaluating their personality characteristics. At first Freshman nursing students were asked that how mach information they had about nursing in advance, then I used Holland vocational interests inventory to test them and determine the compatibility of their personality with the demands of nursing profession, because the most of personality characteristics required for nurses are listed under the social, investigative and artistic categories of personality in Holland inventory. 78% of them said that they had not any special information about nursing and most of them wanted to become something like doctors. Also based on Holland job- personality inventory 46% had not appropriate personality characteristics for nursing profession. It seems that personality tests can help to select the best students for nursing schools among them who show good academic capabilities. This can decrease the rate of attrition and improve the quality of care.