Insights into Registered Nurses' professional values through the eyes of graduating students.

Publisher:
Churchill Livingstone
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Nurse Education in Practice, 2016, 17 pp. 86 - 90
Issue Date:
2016-03
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Professional values are integrated into undergraduate nursing curricula and taught in various ways. A significant influence on students' developing values and their definition of a 'good nurse' are the nurses they interact with in practice. The aim of this paper is to present the findings from a study that explored the professional values that graduating students viewed as important and how these values were illustrated in the behaviours of the nurses whose clinical practice they admired and wished to emulate. Fourteen students from one Australian university were interviewed on the last day of their final clinical placement. An interpretive qualitative design employing semi-structured interviews framed the study. Data were audio recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed. The participants' descriptions illustrated a range of professional values and behaviours. Four main professional values were identified, these included: being person-centred; kindness and caring; being in control; and commitment to learning. Findings demonstrated that the participants understood the meaning and relevance of professional nursing values, from a theoretical, moral and practical stance. Their responses also illustrated an appreciation of how these values influence patient care and the organisational culture as a whole.
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