Introduction. The profession of a nurse should be practised along with the standards of the most recent medical knowledge and law.
Aim. The authors aimed at assessing the relationship between nurse’s education and their knowledge of the legal regulations, taking into account nurses’ performance at work.
Material and methods. A total of 91 nurses were included in the study group. The mean age of the nurses was 34 years (min. 22, max. 63). Group 1: 32 nurses with medium-level education, group 2: 59 nurses with higher-level education. The study tool was a voluntary and anonymous survey questionnaire the authors’ own design, consisting 36 questions. The results obtained were subjected to statistical analysis using STATISTICA 10.0 (Medical University of Warsaw licence), nonparametric U Mann-Whitney Test α<0.05).
Results. 69 nurses declared they knew the legal acts regulating their profession, Group 2 members were significantly more likely to know them (p<0.007). Nurses with higher education were statistically more likely to be aware of the independent character of the profession they practised (p<0.002). Most nurses were aware of their right to refuse a doctor’s order in case it is noncompliant with their conscience (p=NS).
Conclusions. Even though the respondents had relatively good knowledge of legal regulations concerning their profession, it needs to be complemented, for instance through postgraduate education. In the study group, education affected the level of knowledge of nurses. Particular attention should therefore be given to the provision of complementary knowledge of the principles of practising the profession of a nurse to the group of nurses with medium-level education.