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Table 1 Example of individual pattern of professional development

From: Undergraduate nursing students’ experiences of becoming a professional nurse: a longitudinal study

Interview First interview Second interview Third interview Fourth interview
Student no 8 Left a long career in another area for an interest in people. Indicates a sense of satisfaction in being able to help practically and have a meaningful profession Learned a lot. Changed view of the nursing profession, the work is more complicated and the responsibility greater than expected. Indicates that it is positive and feels even more convinced that the choice of profession is appropriate Points out that the clinical reality is not as expected that one has learned about a utopia. Despite this, states that there is a vision of and a goal to be able to provide good healthcare Feels equipped to take the role of a nurse, still nervous but look forward to soon trying out skills learnt
Student no 26 Several events led to the choice of education. Believes in own ability and expects the education and training to be demanding. Has developed strategies of making an extra effort in theoretical education believing that the clinical training will benefit from that Has failed exams but describes strong motivation to continue studying. Despite problems with academic studies, the nursing profession is seen as attractive and there is no intention to drop out Describes a constant search for knowledge and evidence, connecting this to continuing development as a professional nurse and as a human being Starting to work as a nurse soon is both scary and great fun. Describes a desire to continue studying but first wants to work to feel a bit more secure in the profession