Listening and communication styles in nursing students

Lisa McKenna, Ted Brown, Malcolm Boyle, Brett Williams, Claire Palermo, Elizabeth Molloy


Objective: In nursing, where communication is crucial for collaboration with colleagues, informing and reassuring clients as well as advocating. Use of appropriate styles is fundamental. Consideration of nursing students’ listening and communication styles is necessary to understand whether this area needs further enhancement in the curriculum. Yet, little information exists for nurse educators around this area.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of Bachelor of Nursing students from one Australian university was conducted using paper-based versions of the Listening Styles Profile (LSP) and Communicator Style Measure (CSM). Findings revealed strong preference for ‘People’ listening style and ‘Friendly’ communicator style.

Results: There were no significant differences between students across different stages of the course and only slight differences in preferences between genders. Preferences indicate appropriate communication for nursing, indicating underlying concern for the welfare of others.

Conclusions: Results suggest that participants’ education had no effect on their preferences and may provide some information for educators aiming to develop such skills. Longitudinal studies of these attributes into the graduate year are recommended.


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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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