Attitude of Nursing Students Toward Scientific Research: A Cross-Sectional Study in Turkey

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Abstract

Background:

Nursing, a social applied science, is a dynamic profession. Professional nurses must be curious, investigative, and open to learning as well as practice critical and analytic thinking to sustain their professionalism.

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to determine the attitudes of nursing students toward scientific research.

Methods:

A descriptive and cross-sectional study design was used. This study was conducted at a nursing department of a university in Turkey. A sample of 375 nursing students participated. Data were collected using the “Personal Information Form” and “Attitude Scale towards Scientific Studies.” Standard descriptive statistical methods, correlation, Mann–Whitney U, Kruskal–Wallis, and post hoc Bonferroni were used in data analysis.

Results:

Nearly all (90.1%) of the participants were female, and 33.9% were sophomore (second-year) students. Junior (third-year) students held the most positive attitudes toward research, as compared with the participants in other academic years. Participants who had participated in scientific activities held more positive attitudes toward research than those who had not. Participants who had prior experience doing scientific research showed more positive attitudes toward research and researchers than those without this experience. Being older, having scientific research experience, following the continuous broadcasts related to nursing, and participating in scientific activities all significantly influenced attitude toward research (p < .05).

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

Although nursing students who participated in this study exhibited generally positive attitudes toward scientific research, they had relatively little experience participating in scientific activities. Therefore, to foster a positive scientific research culture among undergraduate students, grants should be provided that encourage wider participation in scientific activities and offer opportunities for undergraduate students to do scientific research.

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