• caring;
  • humanistic care;
  • nurse–patient interaction;
  • nurses

The aim of this study was to investigate and analyse the caring attitude and behaviour of clinical nurses in terms of importance, competency and feasibility. The study used a survey design. Data were collected between January and June 2010. Two hundred and sixty clinical nurses were recruited. The caring attitude and behaviour of the nurses were assessed by using a translated version of the original Caring Nurse–Patient Interaction Scale—Short Scale. The subjects considered operative caring behaviour to be more important than expressive caring behaviour. The nurses felt more competent to practise operative caring behaviour in the clinic, and reported that such care was more feasible. The competency scores were positively correlated with age and work seniority. The feasibility scores for the clinical care dimension were positively correlated with age and work seniority. Nurses with a higher positional title had higher competency and feasibility scores. The results suggest that a rich life experience, accumulation of work experience and better competency might promote caring behaviour in nurses.