Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Tycho Fredericks

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Coryn

Third Advisor

Dr. Steven Butt

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Sharie Falan


Personality traits, registered nurses, evaluation, personnel evaluation, person-job fit, organizational behavior


The United States is currently facing a registered nurse (RN) shortage that is expected to reach the millions in the next few years. Since the beginning of the century, healthcare professionals and administrators have strived to develop and implement ways to increase recruitment and retention in the nursing field. It has been recognized that the key to recruitment and retention is to get the right nurse in the right place, which means focusing on clinical proficiencies as well as personality qualities and characteristics. Personality assessment has long been used to evaluate person-job (P-J) fit of applicants for positions across the spectrum of organizations and occupations. When used correctly, assessment of personality traits can result in more accurate decision making and legal creditability, as well as increased performance and efficiency.

The primary focus of this study was to investigate personality traits of registered nurses in various areas of specialization. This research also explored relationships existing between personality traits and job-related outcomes. Hogan’s Personality Inventory (HPI) was used to assess personality traits for a sample of registered nurses. Subjective measurements of performance, satisfaction, and retention were also collected.

Results of this research provide evidence of personality traits uniquely possessed by RNs in general and critical care nurses, in particular. In terms of job performance, this research found relationships existing with three of the seven HPI personality traits: Adjustment, Interpersonal Sensitivity, and Learning Approach for critical care nurses. A relationship was also found between a fourth HPI trait (i.e., Prudence) and overall job satisfaction and retention for these groups of nurses as well.

To address the final objective of this study, a model to assess P-J fit for registered nurses was conceptualized. This model aligns with the Joint Committee’s Personnel Evaluation Standards for developing, assessing, and implementing policies and procedures in personnel evaluation. As healthcare policymakers, administrators, and officials search for ways to combat the increasing shortage of nurses, this research serves as a stepping stone for assessing job-fit for registered nurses.


Fifth Advisor: Dr. David Lyth

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access