1Department of Nursing, Kocaeli University Vocational School of Health, Kocaeli, Turkey
2Department of History of Medicine and Ethics, Kocaeli University Faculty of Medicine, Kocaeli, Turkey
3Department of Nursing, Bulent Ecevit University, Vocational School of Nursing, Zonguldak, Turkey
Background The members of healthcare team have an important role in implementation and protection of patient’s rights. Contemporary nursing entails an ethical responsibility to advocate and protect the patients’ rights. Objectives This study was designed to evaluate how ready nursing students, at the end of their education, were to play the role of patient’s rights advocates and to discuss ethics education in nursing. Materials and Methods This descriptive study was performed on nursing students at Black Sea Universities in the academic year 2010-2011. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire about students’ attitudes regarding patients’ rights including patient’s rights regulations. The association between gender and students’ attitudes was analyzed using Chi-square test. Results The mean age of the 238 participants was 22.11 ± 1.21 years and 82.8% of them were female. The majority of the nursing students held desirable attitudes toward patient information, truth telling, and protection of patients’ privacy and medical records. However, the students’ views about the rights of patients to refuse treatment, children’s active participation in treatment, prioritization of the quality of life in treatment, and respect for the rights of dying patients were less satisfactory. Conclusions The results of this study was concerning with regard to nursing students’ readiness for duties such as patient’s rights advocacy. Therefore, it proposes ethics education that covers both patient’s rights and the obligations of nurses to defend these rights.