The Role Perceptions of Nursing Students: A Comparative Study

Monday, 22 July 2013

Nevin Hotun Sahin, PhD
Department of Women Health and Disease Nursing, Istanbul University, Florence Nightingale Nursing Faculty, Istanbul, Turkey
Zeliha Tulek, PhD, RN
Department of Medical Nursing, Istanbul University Florence Nightingale School of Nursing, Istanbul, Turkey
Manuel Alves Rodrigues, RN, PhD
Nursing School of Coimbra, Health Sciences' Research Unit: Nursing domain, Coimbra, Portugal

Learning Objective 1: understand perceptions of nursing students regarding profession

Learning Objective 2: understand differences between different cultures and health care systems

Purpose: This study was conducted to determine role perceptions of nursing students in two nursing schools from two countries, Turkey and Portugal. 


The study was planned as descriptive and cross-sectional research. The sample consisted of nursing students who have attended to a nursing school during 2006-2007 academic year and were volunteer for participation into the study. 266 students from Turkey and 56 students from Portugal constituted the sample. Data were collected by a student information form and “Nursing Role Perception Questionnaire (NRPQ)” developed by MacKay.  NRPQ is a likert type questionnaire which measures perception of the role of a nurse and consists of 22 questions and 7 subgroups. For statistical analysis mean, standard deviation, percentage and Mann Whitney U test were used.


266 students were from Turkey and 56 students were from Portugal. Mean age of the students was 20.9±1.4. 47 of the students was male (14.6%) and 275 female (85.4%).  115 students  chose nursing as a first choice in university exam. 220 students felt some regret to choose nursing when 101 did not feel regret. 81 stated that they would have chosen nursing again if they were given a second chance.

When we compared data regarding NRPQ between two schools, we obtained some significancies. Turkish students tended to see nursing as having more objective medical perspective (p=,  good interpersonal skills in a group situation. Portuguese students tended to consider role of nurses to be of equal importance to doctors, higher regard by the general public and more clear role according to other professionals. 


The work conditions of nursing  and health care systems have an impact on perception of profession by the candidates.