Personal and professional values held by baccalaureate nursing students

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Abstract

Background:

Values are ideals and beliefs that individuals and groups uphold and lie at the core of the diverse world of human behaviour and are expressed in every human decision and action, both consciously and unconsciously. They represent basic beliefs of what is right, good or desirable and motivate both personal and professional behaviour. In the context of nursing profession, values are essential in order to maintain high standards of the nursing care.

Objectives:

This study was planned to examine changes in nursing students’ personal and professional values between entering and graduating from an undergraduate nursing programme.

Ethical considerations:

Measures to protect participants included obtaining Deaconship of Nursing Faculty approval, obtaining signed informed consent and maintaining confidentiality.

Methods:

This study was designed as longitudinal quality. The research population included 143 students registered at a first grade of a nursing faculty for the 2009–2010 academic year. Data were collected with a Questionnaire Form, the Value Preferences Scale, the Professional Values Precedence Scale and the Nursing Professional Values Scale.

Findings:

According to the results, social values have statistical differences in 4-year nursing education. Nursing students in second class have higher score in terms of social values than those in third class. Also, majority of students ranked human dignity as first and justice as second and third from first to fourth classes, and they have very high scores on Nursing Professional Values Scale and its subscales and stated that all items of Nursing Professional Values Scale are very important.

Conclusion:

As a result, nursing education has vital role in acquiring and maintaining professional values.

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