Spirituality, religiosity, and personal beliefs of Australian undergraduate nursing students

J Transcult Nurs. 2014 Oct;25(4):395-402. doi: 10.1177/1043659614523469. Epub 2014 Feb 26.


Purpose: To explore Australian nursing students' perceptions of spirituality, religiosity, and personal belief.

Background: Spiritual and religious literature support the benefits to patients' physical and mental health. Nurses have an ethical obligation to understand and incorporate patient's spiritual beliefs and values into the care plan.

Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted using the 32-item WHO-QOL-SRPB questionnaire.

Sample: The sample consisted of 483 undergraduate nursing students in Sydney, Australia.

Results: There were 21% male and 79% female students; age ranged from 18 to 56 years, with a mean age of 26.53 (SD = 7.32). There were no significant difference between male and female nursing students, but there were difference in SRPB scores between first-, second-, and third-year students and between religious affiliations.

Conclusions and implications: Spirituality is multidimensional and multilevel and is interconnected with religiosity and personal belief. Nurses need to understand their own spirituality before they can incorporate spirituality in their patient care.

Keywords: Australian; nursing students; spirituality; survey design; transcultural health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Australia
  • Cross-Sectional Studies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Religion*
  • Spirituality
  • Students, Nursing / psychology*