Nurses’ knowledge of legal aspects of nursing practice in Ibadan, Nigeria

Modupe O. Oyetunde, Bola. A. Ofi


Knowledge of law that establishes a profession is essential for the professional. Nurses practice within an environment in which accountability is demanded by the professional body as well as the communities they serve. This implies that the very nature of nursing practice requires nurses to be vigilant about understanding of the law. However, there is paucity of empirical evidence of nurses’ knowledge of legal aspects of nursing. This paper presents a report of a survey of nurses’ knowledge of legal aspects of nursing in Nigeria.

The descriptive study utilized a 39-item questionnaire developed by the researchers to gather information from 161 nurses from different categories of hospitals in Ibadan. A simple random technique was used in selecting respondents in each ward of the settings. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.

The sample consisted of 20 males (12.4%) and 141 females (87.6%) with varying years of experience. Nurses have knowledge of general law of the land (58.4%) but the majority had knowledge deficits of laws governing nursing practice (77.6%). About 57 %( 91) of nurses indicated that their hospitals have institutional policies that govern how nurses practice but only 50% knew the content and intent of the policies.

The hallmark of professionalism is accountability. The best way to practice nursing effectively is being highly knowledgeable about the science and art of nursing coupled with sound knowledge of the laws that establish; control and promote nursing practice. It is therefore recommended that the stake holders in nursing be more involved in ensuring adequate knowledge of legal aspects of nursing practice to achieve the Nursing goal of quality care.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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