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Nurses' duties and patients' rights have been important foci in nursing. Nurses' rights legitimate the power and responsibility of the profession. There are few published articles on this subject in the nursing science literature. This article is a theoretical examination of nurses' rights that aims to structure (i.e. show the internal logic of) those that have been little studied. It is based on the philosophical literature and published research. Nurses' rights can be divided into: human and civil rights, rights based on health care legislation, professional rights, and earned rights. In this context, professional rights relate to nursing and also to tasks shared with other health care professions. Analyzing nurses' rights will help to promote these rights, improve nurses' position both nationally and internationally, and provide possibilities for enhancing patient care.