Date of Award

Spring 5-1988

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



Committee Director

Linda L. Davis

Committee Member

Linda L. Lilley

Committee Member

Julie A. Stanik

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.N8C66


A primary dimension of nursing is caring tor patients who suffer. This study examined the inferences made about patients' suffering oy 65 registered nurses employed in acute care health facilities. Utilizing The standard Measure of Inferences of Suffering Questionnaire. the purpose of the study was to explore the influence of nursing education and experience on the degree of pain and psychological distress inferred by the nurses. Analysis of Covariance was used to test for group differences on the basis of nursing education when number of months of nursing experience was controlled. Although nursing education did not influence nurses' inferences of patients· suffering. Pearson correlations revealed an inverse relationship between the amount of experience and the degree of inferred suffering, such that as the amount of nursing experience increased. the degree of inferred suffering decreased. Further research exploring different variables involved in perception and subsequent inferences of patients' suffering is recommended.


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