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One hundred and twenty-four experienced registered nurses representing four status categories (nurse managers, full-time student teachers of nursing, first year part-time student teachers of nursing, and second year part-time teachers of nursing) participated in a study to investigate the nature of their social attitudes.

Oliver's Survey of Opinions about Education was used as a measure of social attitudes.

The overall conclusion was that the social attitudes of the subjects in the study were more similar than dissimilar. Significant differences were found between the managers and the full time teachers (t =−2.03, P < 0.05) on radicalism. The teachers were found to be more radical. Significant differences were found between the managers and the first year part-time teachers (t =−2.55, P < 0.05) on tender-mindedness. The teachers were found to be more tender-minded. Significant differences were also found on tender-mindedness between the managers and the second year part-time teachers (t =−2.37, P < 0.05). Again, the teachers were found to be more tender-minded than the managers. Apart from these differences, the social attitudes of the subjects were found to be well balanced.

When the findings of the present study are compared with other studies relating to the social attitudes of nurses, the pattern which emerges is a more balanced one. However, previous studies mainly used subjects in the l8–21-year age group. The difference in the ages of the subjects is likely to be an important factor on their social attitudes, but further research would be required to determine whether factors other than a difference in ages play a part.