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J Caring Sci. 2016 Mar 1;5(1):33-41. doi: 10.15171/jcs.2016.004. eCollection 2016 Mar.

Nursing Students' Understanding of the Concept of Self-Esteem: a Qualitative Study.

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Department of Medical Surgical Nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Pediatric nursing, Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery,Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
Department of Psychology, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran.
University of the West of Scotland, Crichton Campus, Dumfries, Scotland.



The concept of self-esteem has several definitions in different paradigms. Nursing has a unique and combined paradigm; therefore it is necessary to explore nursing students' understanding of the concept of self-esteem. The present study aimed to discover the extent and characteristics of the concept of self-esteem from the perspective of Iranian nursing students through a qualitative approach.


This study was conducted using the conventional content analysis method with the participation of 14 nursing students. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants and data were collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews and analyzed simultaneously.


Study findings showed that the nursing students' self-esteem is related to the sense of worthy they perceived as being a nursing student. Nursing students' self-esteem was determined through sense of worthy related to their perceived professionalism level, socialization into the profession, and enthusing of them about being a nursing student.


If a nursing student was proud of her or his nursing role, then he or she would enjoy the nursing course and all that entailed; such as communication with colleagues, performing the tasks and, generally her or his career.


Nursing; Nursing student; Qualitative study; Self esteem

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