Original Article

The Investigation of Levels of Empathy in Nurse Candidates


  • Nurcan ERTUĞ

Received Date: 02.08.2016 Accepted Date: 16.01.2017 Bezmialem Science 2018;6(1):37-42


The aim of this study was to determine the empathy levels in students studying innursing department of a university.


This descriptive study was conducted in a university with 168 students studying nursing in a university in Ankara. The data were collected by “Jefferson scale of empathy for nursing students.” The higher scores indicate a higher empathy level. The data were analyzed using mean, standard deviation t-test, and One-way ANOVA.


Participants’ mean age was 21.21±1.958 and 86.3% of them were females. The students’ mean score on the scale was 90.04±13.796. The average total score of female students were higher than the male students (t=2.389, p=0.018). Students with higher grade point average were found to have higher empathy score (F=5.221, p=0.006). The score on the scale of students who had previous nursing qualification was higher than that of the others (t=−2.335, p=0.021). It was found that the age (r=−0.020, p=0.792), willingness to work as a nurse after graduating (t=−0.311, p=0.756), academic year (F=2.306, p=0.079), or hospitalization experiment (t=−1.118, p=0.265) of the students did not influence the empathy.


The study showed that the level of empathy in the nursing students is at a medium level. It was determined that the empathy level was influenced by academic success, gender, and previous nursing qualification. Additionally, empathy level was not influenced by the academic year, hospitalization experiment, or willingness to work as a nurse after graduating. Performing a change in the upward empathy while updating curriculum or planning nursing education can be considered.

Keywords: Empathy, nursing students, nursing education