• nurses;
  • nurses’ perceptions;
  • nursing;
  • spirituality;
  • spiritual care;
  • Turkey

Aim.  To explore Turkish nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care and to investigate the relationship between their perceptions and their demographic/independent variables.

Background.  Nurses’ perception of spirituality can directly affect how they behave, deal with their patients and communicate with them in regard to the provision of spiritual care.

Design.  Survey.

Methods.  This study employed a convenience sample of 348 staff nurses from the public hospitals in the west of Turkey. The data were collected with two tools; a ‘sociodemographic data form’ and the ‘Spirituality and Spiritual Care Rating Scale’ (SSCRS). The response rate was 92% (n = 319).

Results.  The mean age of the nurses was 31·70 (SD 6·34) years and 22·9% of them had a Bachelor’s degree. Among the nurses, 54·98% had ≥ 11 years of clinical experience. The mean score for the SSCRS was 3·21 (SD 0·63) which indicated that nurses’ perceptions concerning spirituality and spiritual care were ‘uncertain’ or ‘less clearly’ defined. Significant differences were found between nurses’ perceptions of spirituality and spiritual care and their ages (p < 0·05), marital status (p < 0·05) and education levels (p < 0·01).

Conclusion.  The research findings suggest that Turkish nurses’ perceptions were indecisive and inconclusive. Nurses’ educational level, belief in the evil eye and department of employment appeared to have a positive impact on their perception of spirituality and spiritual care.

Relevance to clinical practice.  These findings will enable nurses to consider the importance of spirituality and spiritual care. Grasping these concepts will enable nurses to become more sensitive in their daily practices of spiritual care.