Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa


Background: Reliable health user information is needed to effectively organize nursing services and deliver quality patientcentered care. Nurse leaders of Al Gharbia Health Services (AGHS) noted that although budget data and general workforce information were readily available, detailed information about patient experiences, views, and expectations was lacking.

Objective: This study aimed to obtain preliminary data regarding health and nursing service expectations of Emirati nationals in the remote western region of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Methods: This study used qualitative descriptive methodology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of Emirati families who had recently accessed AGHS. Interviews focused on service user understanding and expectations of the role of nurses, nursing services, and the health service overall.

Results: Emirati nationals’ views and expectations regarding nurses’ role and function in the healthcare team were highlighted. Participants’ expectations and the attributes they valued were distributed across two distinct areas: clinical competence and the “softer” skills of compassion, caring, and respect.

Conclusions: These findings facilitate understanding of the expectations of Emirati health service users. Importantly, the results counter regional perceptions of nursing under-valued as a servant role across the UAE and broader Gulf Cooperation Council region. The findings may inform a range of activities including: a large-scale survey regarding the views and expectations of Emirati health service users; pre-service nursing education and nursing in service development; and the recruitment of Emirati nationals to the nursing profession. Further investigation regarding perceptions and valuing of nursing within the Emirati community is warranted.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Hospital Administration

Included in

Nursing Commons