Knowledge regarding law and ethics among nurses at a tertiary care hospital in rural India

Thirunavukarasu M. R., Velmurugan A.


Background: Excellence in clinical skills along with a sound knowledge of standard practices related to bioethics and its application in the clinical settings is essential for healthcare providers. Nurses play a pivotal role in the healthcare team, being involved in various aspects like clinical care, research and medical education. It is essential for nurses to be aware of the ethical practices for effective patient care.

Methods: It was a hospital-based descriptive study. A pre-tested questionnaire covering socio-demographic information and questions regarding law and ethics was used to collect the information. Nurses with more than one year experience and those who offered voluntary informed consent were included in the study. The study covered 50 staff nurses from both gender.

Results: The study showed that majority of the participants (78%) had inadequate knowledge, nearly 7% of them are having moderate knowledge and only 4% are having adequate knowledge regarding law and ethics in Nursing.

Conclusions: The study shows the need for increase in awareness regarding ethical issues associated with clinical practice and research among nurses. The study results were used to prepare a booklet on ethics and law for nurses and given to all the participants. Similar studies can be conducted among other members of the health care team (doctors, interns, researchers and trainee nurses) to generalize the results. Group discussions and workshops can be conducted for nurses and other members to promote the need for ethical practices.


Ethics, Law, Bioethics, Nurses, Rural India

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