Background: Nursing professional values (NPV) acquired during student’s professional education are fundamental to enacting appropriate care-giving behaviors, and efficient practice upon graduation. Evidence suggests that differences exist in the perception and enactment of NPV among practicing nurses. NPV has been understudied in Nigeria. Aim of the study: This study assessed the professional values of Nigerian nursing students. Materials and methods: The cross-sectional descriptive study purposely enlisted 233 final year nursing students (mostly females (77.7%) with a mean age of 25 ± 2.7 years) sampled from 4 selected nursing education programs in South-eastern Nigeria. Their professional values were measured using Weis and Schank modified version of Nurses Professional Value Scale- Revised (NPVS-R). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics of means and standard deviations while analysis of variance was used for inferential statistics set at p>0.05 alpha level of significance. Results: Respondents rated all the value item statements high above the accepted mean decision score of 3.0. The highest and least important rated value subscales by the respondents were altruism 4.10 ± 0.60 and autonomy 3.89 ± 0.65 subscales respectively. Female students scored ‘respect confidentiality of patient’s information’ and ‘document nursing care accurately and honestly’ (4.50) highest, whereas the males scored highest ‘give full attention to the patient/family when giving a care’ (4.50). Although the overall NPV means score was higher in females (201.40 ± 27.33) than the males (197.19 ± 32.92), there was no significant mean score difference (p>0.05) between them. Conclusions: The students were found to have high professional value scores suggestive of in-depth common value orientation. Nurse educators are encouraged to lay emphasis on those items scoring lowest.
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