• compliance;
  • drug administration;
  • ethical issues;
  • institutional policy;
  • legal issues

An anonymous questionnaire assessing nurses’knowledge, attitude and compliance with legally mandated regulations relating to the administration of ward recordable drugs was administered by mail to a random sample of nurses registered in New South Wales, Australia. Sixty-four per cent of subjects (n=318) responded. Both self-reported and colleague-reported compliance rates were less than 50%. A highly significant relationship was evident between knowledge and attitude; knowledge and reported compliance; and attitude and reported compliance. Factors that may influence non-compliance are discussed and the legal, ethical and policy implications of the findings are briefly explored.