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Asian Nurs Res (Korean Soc Nurs Sci). 2016 Mar;10(1):68-74. doi: 10.1016/j.anr.2015.11.001. Epub 2016 Jan 14.

Vocational Identity and Ego Identity Status in Korean Nursing Students.

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College of Nursing, The Research Institute of Nursing Science, Catholic University of Daegu, Daegu, South Korea. Electronic address:
School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle, USA.



The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between vocational identity and ego identity status among Korean nursing students.


The participants were 311 nursing students in South Korea who were attending either a 4-year bachelor's program or a 3-year diploma program. Data were collected using self-report questionnaires that addressed vocational identity, ego identity status, and demographic information. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variance, t test, and Chi-square test.


In terms of ego identity status, 31.5% of nursing students were classified as being in diffusion status, followed by 28.3% in low profile moratorium status, 14.8% in moratorium status, 14.1% in foreclosure status, and 11.3% in achievement status. Vocational identity differed according to ego identity status; vocational identity among students who were in achievement status was higher than for those in all other statuses. Vocational identity also differed according to grade level and monthly family income. Ego identity status was related to the type of program enrolled in, grade level, and monthly family income.


These findings show that nursing students in identity achievement status have secure and clear vocational identities. Further longitudinal and qualitative studies are needed to find out if identity formation among nursing students changes with age.


nursing; self concept; students

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