The associations between peer caring behaviors and social support to nurse students’ caring perceptions

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Caring is seen as an essential part of nursing and as a desirable competency expected of nursing students. Yet, students have difficulties in understanding the meaning and practice of caring relationships. The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between perceived social support and peer caring behaviors to nurse students’ caring perceptions. A cross-sectional study was conducted among first and fourth-year nursing students (n = 246) attending a Baccalaureate nursing education program at a major university in Israel. The findings revealed first-year students significantly received more social support from family and friends than fourth-year students. Moreover, first-year students reported an increase in the use of social support through social media platforms during their first semester of studies. Social support from family, peers and social media platforms was associated to caring perception. Fourth-year students scored higher than first-year students in their caring perceptions and peer caring behaviors. Educators should consider the growing potential role of social media technologies as an accessible source of social support and as a learning tool. Moreover, nurse educators should encourage the use and practice of peer caring behaviors among students as professional means of facilitating future caring relationships with patients and their families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-94
Number of pages7
JournalNurse Education in Practice
StatePublished - Jul 2018


  • Caring perception
  • Nursing students
  • Peer caring behaviors
  • Social media use


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