Nursing students’ perceptions of faculty members’ ethical/unethical attitudes

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Abstract

Background:

Through education, individuals acquire knowledge, skill and attitudes that facilitate professional socialization; it involves intellectual, emotional and psychomotor skill development. Teachers are role models for behaviour modification and value development.

Objective:

To examine students’ perceptions of faculty members’ ethical and unethical attitudes during interactions in undergraduate nursing.

Research design:

This descriptive study consisted of two phases. In Phase I, we developed an instrument, which was administered to nursing students to assess validity and reliability. Exploratory factor analysis yielded 32 items. Cronbach’s α was 0.83, and test–retest reliability was good. In Phase II, a 32-item version of the instrument was administered to nursing students from another university.

Participants and research context:

Participants included 219 nursing students from one university in Phase I and 196 from another university in Phase II. The study was conducted at the universities attended by the participants.

Ethical considerations:

Ethical approval was granted by the institutions involved, and all participants provided informed consent.

Findings:

In Phase I, the instrument demonstrated good psychometric properties for measuring nursing students’ perceptions of faculty members’ ethical and unethical behaviours. In Phase II, students considered certain professional and personal qualities, including respecting confidentiality and students’ private lives and assuming an impartial stance during interactions in the classroom, examinations, or clinical practice, ethical. They considered using obscene examples or unprofessional speech during teaching, selling textbooks in class, using university facilities for personal interests, engaging in romantic relationships with students, and humiliating students in front of patients or staff in clinical settings unethical.

Conclusion:

Results of this study suggest that nurse educators should be aware of their critical role in the teaching–learning process, and they must scrutinize their attitudes towards students from an ethical point of view.

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