• The aim of the present paper was to compare and contrast perceptions of caring in nursing between Spanish and UK nurses.
• There are no previous studies comparing directly the perceptions of caring across cultures in nursing.
• A survey method was used employing the 25-item Caring Dimensions Inventory. Data were Mokken scaled for comparison with data from a previous study and scores for common items on the 25-item Caring Dimension Inventory for Spanish and UK nurses were correlated.
• There were similarities and differences between Spanish and UK nurses' perceptions of caring: many similar items were incorporated into Mokken scales but the endorsement of items did not correlate.
• The present work demonstrates that it is possible to measure differences and similarities in perceptions of caring. The study design could be improved and such work could be valuable in cross-cultural work with nurses.
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