Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Valuing of altruism and honesty in nursing students: a two-decade\ud replication study

By M Johnson, CA Haigh, N Yates-Bolton and University of Salfordnow at Manchester Metropolitan University University of Salford and University of Salford


This paper reports a study investigating changes in the self-reported values of nursing students over the period 1983–2005 in the light of changes in student demography.\ud Background. Nurses’ values have been studied by both qualitative and survey\ud methods over half a century. Generally idealism and altruism are said to wane as a result of professional socialisation, whilst honesty has been rarely examined.\ud Method. Building on an instrument designed by William Scott, further items were\ud developed which addressed value orientations in a nursing context. Using a Likert scale and demographic items, a 1983 survey of three schools of nursing in England was repeated with a comparable population of students in 2005.\ud Findings. Student valuing of altruism and honesty has changed in important ways in\ud the intervening decades. Nursing students are now generally less altruistic\ud but value honesty with patients a great deal more than their counterparts in 1983.\ud Conclusion. The current situation, with older students having more domestic\ud responsibilities and some students needing to have extra jobs besides their nursing course, seems to have led them to adopt a pragmatic approach. However, there are encouraging changes in the valuing of honesty with patients, which reflect in part students’ increased maturity and changed social attitudes to healthcare professional paternalism.\ud Keywords: attitude

Topics: RT, H1, L1, health_and_wellbeing, other
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1998). 9 Au: Please provide publisher for Watson
  2. (2004). A comparative study of the course-related family and financial problems of mature nursing students in Scotland and Australia.
  3. (1980). A question of honesty in nursing practice.
  4. (1992). A silent conspiracy? some ethical issues of participant observation in nursing research.
  5. (1973). A study of baccalaureate nursing students’ values.
  6. (1957). A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.
  7. (2004). Angel, handmaiden, battleaxe or whore? A study which examines changes in newly recruited student nurses’ attitudes to gender and nursing stereotypes.
  8. (1965). Awareness of Dying.
  9. (1961). Boys in White: Student Culture in a Medical School.
  10. (1967). Comparative study of characteristics, attitudes and opinions of neophyte British and American nurses.
  11. (1955). Effects of medical education on medical students.
  12. (1959). Empirical assessment of values and ideologies. doi
  13. (1998). has been changed to Watson doi
  14. (1963). Influence of social reinforcement and the behaviour of models in shaping children’s moral judgements.
  15. (1987). Learning and Working: The Occupational Socialisation of Student Nurses.
  16. (1980). Lying: Moral Choice in Public and Private Life.
  17. (1991). Measures of Personality and Social Psychological Attitudes.
  18. (1999). not cited. Please cite reference in text or delete from the list.
  19. (1991). not cited. Please cite reference in text or delete from the list. 8 Au: Please check this website address and confirm that it is correct.
  20. (1983). Nurses’ Values and Nurse Training: A Pilot Survey of the Values of Student Nurses, MSc thesis.
  21. (1997). Nursing Power and Social Judgement. Ashgate,
  22. (1989). Nursing the Dying.
  23. (1994). Please provide journal title and page range for Burnard and Morrison
  24. (1999). Post-modern nursing doi
  25. (1999). Pre-registration diploma students: a quantitative study of entry characteristics and course outcomes.
  26. (2003). Professional values held by baccalaureate and associate degree nursing students.
  27. (1974). Reality Shock: Why Nurses Leave Nursing.
  28. (1986). Replication research in nursing.
  29. (1994). Self disclosure and nursing students: the replication of a Jourard study.
  30. (2006). Software for calculation of P values and confidence intervals. Available at (accessed 8th
  31. (1960). Study of Values.
  32. (1967). Survey of Interpersonal Values. Science Research Associates,
  33. (2006). The Authors. Journal compilation
  34. (2000). The Dying Process: Patients’ Experiences of Palliative Care.
  35. (1946). The Ego and the Mechanism of Defence.
  36. (1968). The fate of idealism in nursing school.
  37. (2004). The good nurse: visions and values in images of the nurse.
  38. (2004). Values in clinical nursing practice and caring.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.