The Defensive Practices of Nurses


  • Nuray Turan Department of Fundamentals of Nursing, Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Nurten Kaya Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey



Defensive practices, malpractice, nurse, role and responsibility, law


Introduction: Through the developments in science and technology, in health-care services, roles and responsibilities of nurses are changing, and nurses are frequently faced with risky circumstances in terms of malpractice. In this case, it is thought that nurses may be inclined to exhibit defensive practices.

Methods: This study was carried out in a descriptive type to determine the defensive practice status of nurses. The population of the study consists of the nurses working at a university and private hospital, and the sample comprises 345 nurses working at inpatient departments in hospitals. This study was approved by the ethical board of Istanbul Medipol University. Data were analyzed using SPSS 21.00.

Results: About 91.9% of the nurses who were included within the scope of the research are female, and the mean age is 35.67 ± 8.89. It was found that 60.9% of the nurses, who were included within the scope of the research, sometimes had concerns about making a mistake in nursing care, 60.9% of them never administered any drug he/she thought to be unnecessary, 55.7% of them never kept away from the patients who are more likely to file a lawsuit to protect themselves, 48.7% of them sometimes explained nursing practices in more detail to protect themselves from the allegations of malpractice, 44.1% of them never avoided practices with high complications to guard themselves against malpractice lawsuits, 65.5% of them always kept the records in a more detailed way to protect themselves from allegations of malpractice, and 52.2% of them considered there was a high risk of encountering with a malpractice case at any time according to the conditions of the environment.

Conclusion: The data obtained have indicated that nurses sometimes perform defensive practices. Thus, it is necessary to develop and implement strategies to prevent nurses from performing defensive practices


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Author Biography

Nurten Kaya, Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Istanbul, Turkey

Nurten  Kaya, BSN, PhD, BSN, Professor 

Istanbul University-Cerrahpasa, Health Sciences Faculty, Istanbul,Turkey

Office Address:  Demirkapı Cad. Karabal Sk. Bakırköy Ruh ve Sinir Hastalıkları Hastanesi Bahçesi İçi 34740 Bakırköy-Istanbul /Turkey 

Phone:  +90(212) 414 15 00 (40137)

Fax: +90(212) 414 15 15 





How to Cite

Turan N, Kaya N. The Defensive Practices of Nurses. JHSCI [Internet]. 2019 Aug. 31 [cited 2024 Apr. 13];9(2):75-8. Available from:



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