The purpose of the study was to examine and describe what English nursing undergraduates internalize as professional values The method was qualitative, specifically, a grounded theory approach was used The sample comprised 12 senior baccalaureate nursing students from two educational institutions in the north of England Informants were volunteers who gave informed consent having been briefed on the purposes of the study and how their confidentiality would be protected Data were collected through audio‐taped interviews and the constant comparative method was used to analyse data The findings revealed that informants perceived two concepts as central to their professional values These were respect for patients and ‘caring about the little things' They valued the rights of patients to be treated with respect, to know what was happening to them and to have a say in what happened to them They described the little things' as ‘an approach with patients that gets through to them, ‘getting out the mirror so they can see themselves’, ‘fixing their water so they can reach it’, worrying about someone's dentures or the cat they left at home They expected that their values would be in conflict with common hospital practice They valued ‘fitting in’ and ‘going along’ but retained their own ideas and values until such time as these could be implemented They perceived themselves as powerless to create change as new graduates They believed the overwhelming power resided in the hospital system and the ward sister/charge nurse. They were not inclined toward a career in hospital nursing
Journal of Advanced Nursing – Wiley
Published: Jul 1, 1991
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