Klavdija Peternelj HAL - 2005:09, pp. 55. HAL/Sektionen för hälsa, 2006.
Overall aim of this study was to describe the concept of conscience and to find out how Slovene nurses understand it. In the first study (1) specific aims were to systematically review the presence of the concept of conscience in research about nurses in literature sources and in second study (2) to describe how Slovene nurses perceive and explain the concept of conscience. Research methods used were (1) literature review and (2) quantitative survey. Into (1) sample, 6 primary sources discussing concept of conscience within a nursing research project were included. In second study target population were all registered nurses and nurse assistants employed in Slovenia. Sample (2) contained 2500 nurses form the membership list of Nurses Association of Slovenia and it was standardized systematic sample with a sampling interval 5. With 483 returned questionnaires the response rate was 19,3%. Conscience questionnaire contained 17 statements and respondents were marking their level of agreement. Crombach’s alpha coefficient for the scale was 0,6492. Results showed that (1) nurses often confront their conscience when performing nursing. They are listening to their inner voice. There were no controversies among defended results identified. Articles had coherent structure, except one. (2) Slovene nurses have difficulties to act as conscience directs them at work place. Reasons for that could be found in Slovene nurses’ subordination to physicians, where nurses rarely get the opportunity to express their own ideas. The integrity of their conscience seems to be limited. At the same time they do not need to suppress conscience at work. It has showed that Slovene nurses are occupied with thinking about how things are done and how they should be done. Majority of Slovene nurses do not feel pain of conscience every day. They think that conscience needs to be interpreted and cannot be avoided. It protects us against hurting others and ourselves. Conscience should be obeyed without considering opinions of others.