Professional values in student nurse education: An integrative literature review

Publication Name

Nursing Ethics


Aim: The aim is to understand current research into the impact of undergraduate nursing education on the development of professional values. Background: Values are evident in the professional standards for nurses and the guidelines and healthcare policies of many countries. These professional values guide decisions and behaviour and are recognised as an essential component in the professions ability to provide safe and professional care. This literature review presents the current research on the impact of education on professional values in undergraduate nurse education. Design: An integrative review of the findings was conducted to provide insight into the current research on the professional value development in undergraduate nurses. Data sources: CINAHL, PubMed and Scopus. Review methods: A literature search was undertaken within defined date parameters 2010–2021 using a systematic approach. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis guide PRISMA was used to guide and illustrate the process. Papers were assessed for quality using the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool. Results: Two distinct areas of inquiry were identified. (a) Changes in professional values as an outcome of undergraduate nursing education or (b) changes in professional values as an outcome of specifically designed educational content. These areas were further explored to better understand the influences of undergraduate education on students’ professional values. Conclusion: There is a lack of evidence in the literature to support the premise that professional values develop in line with academic year progression; however, there is strong evidence to support the inclusion of explicit learning in undergraduate education that engages students in education specifically designed to explore and develop professional values.



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