The aim of the study was to explore how far the perceptions of care of nurses in Finland take into account the preferences of the older patient and the patient's family members and to evaluate related background factors. The data were collected by questionnaire with nurses (n = 167) working in a geriatric hospital. The questionnaire contained items about shared decision-making, attitudes to nursing patients, assessment of patients' functional ability and need for care, goal-setting, evaluation of outcomes and discharge planning. This study showed that taking into account the preferences of the patient and the patient's family members regarding the patient's care was challenging for the nurses in practice. About one-third of the nurses reported making the decisions on a patient's care themselves and not respecting patient autonomy in situations where patients are not able to assess their own situation. In addition, the nurses reported asking for the views of patients less frequently than those of family members when assessing and setting patient care goals. In practice, nurses need to be aware of this, during the transition from routine-centred care to patient-centred care.