Aim. The study aimed to investigate Jordanian nurses’ perceptions of their role in clinical practice.
Background. The lack of regulation of nursing practice by the profession across the Middle East until now has led to each institution setting its own policies regarding the role of the nurse and the practice of nursing. No study to date has examined the role of the nurse working in the acute hospital environment nor explored the practice of nursing in this region.
Design and methods. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted using a quota sample. A total of 348 medical-surgical staff nurses and practical nurses from the three healthcare sectors in Jordan participated in the study with a response rate of 77%. The results were analysed by constructing multiple response tables, chi-square test, anova and log-linear analysis.
Results. Staff nurses in Jordan were expected to carry out the majority of nursing care activities. The role of the practical nurse was limited to the physical and professional domains of nursing care. Activities requiring higher levels of emotional or intellectual labour and interdisciplinary communication were attributed only to the staff nurse. The majority of the respondents reported nursing had not been their first choice of career. Male nurses had a higher intention to leave the nursing profession. The predominant method of care delivery used by nurses was task-oriented.
Conclusion. There was a general consensus regarding what constituted the nurse's work in the clinical area across the three healthcare sectors in Jordan. Role delineation between the two levels of nurses was also clear. There is a need to move from task-oriented to patient-centred care to promote quality patient care.
Relevance to clinical practice. This study explores the role of the nurse working in the acute hospital environment in Jordan.