Gerontological nurses' perceptions of their rights in Finland
These are challenging times for gerontological nurses, due to the increasing need for older people care services and nursing expertise and to the burdensome nature of older people care. These changes also challenge professional ethics. Traditionally, literature has focused more on nurses' duties and responsibilities, rather than on their rights. The aim was to explore the concept of nurses' rights from the perspective of nurses in gerontological care. A qualitative study conducted among gerontological nurses (n = 29) in the older people care of two publicly provided municipal older people care organisations in two mid-range towns in Finland. Participation in the study was voluntary, and the participants were recruited in collaboration with a nurse executive. The data, collected in 11 interviews (1-4 participants in each) using open-ended interview method, were analysed by inductive content analysis. Based on our findings, nurses' rights are an integral part of everyday nursing. As professionals, nurses pointed out that their rights are based on legislation and ethics, and their rights involve colleagues, managers, organisation, and patients and relatives. Their rights were connected to nurses' professional expertise and their well-being at work, but at the end, they were a factor to improving quality of older people care. This required that nurses' rights were taken as visible and elementary part of management. On the basis of our findings, especially in very demanding areas of nursing, like older people care, nurses' rights deserve major visibility and should be taken into consideration when planning care.