Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Nursing Honours


Faculty of Health and Human Sciences

First Advisor

A.W. Montgomery


The nursing process was 'introduced in Australia in the mid 1970s, as a teaching tool, however, with the advent of tertiary based education in the late 1970s, it was used as a problem solving approach to the practice of nursing. Acceptance of the nursing process has required changes' in attitudes and practice. The objectives of the study were firstly, to describe nurses' attitudes to the nursing process, and. secondly, to relate these attitudes to education and experience. The purpose of this study was to describe nurses' attitudes to the nursing process because they are reported to influence the standards or client Care. In addition, better understanding of the problems experienced by nurses could aid in the planning of nursing education curricula and inservice programmes, and expose some impediments to successful clinical and managerial implementation. A descriptive survey was conducted at a metropolitan teaching hospital of a convenience sample of registered general nurses Responses to a twenty point questionnaire, developed by Bowman Thompson & Sutton (1983), were tabulated as percentage frequencies so that areas of positive and negative attitude could be identified. Demographic data was collected to enable correlation of number of years experience with attitude score, and to ascertain the influence of attitude by basic, inservice and postbasic nursing education in the nursing process by an analysis of variance procedure. The findings of the study indicated a moderately positive attitude held by the respondents there was no significant negative correlation between years of experience since basic nurse education and attitude scores there was a difference in attitude scores of nurses whose basic nurse education had included the nursing process and inservice and postbasic nursing process education had no significant influence on attitude scores. It was concluded that while nurses had a moderately positive attitude to the nursing process, the absence of an acknowledged link with improved nursing care in a significant number of respondents indicated a knowledge deficit, in addition, too much paperwork and lack of time were cited as major barriers to implementation, and there was an element of resignation to the use of the nursing process. The implications for the study lie in the educational provisions for nurses to facilitate translation from nursing theory to practice.

Included in

Nursing Commons