OBJECTIVE: to identify the needs of nursing students in the field of relational competencies. METHOD: qualitative study with an exploratory-descriptive nature. The random sample included 62 students in the 2nd year of the nursing undergraduate program of a school located in the central region of Portugal. The inclusion criterion was the nonexistence of clinical teaching. Data were collected through a form designed to assess relational needs; content analysis was used to analyze data. RESULTS: the results indicated that the students' concept of nursing care at this stage of their education is focused on the performance of nursing tasks and techniques instead of on scientific knowledge. Overall, they are aware that greater personal development and better self-knowledge are determinant for their personal and social well-being and for them to become good professionals. CONCLUSION: these results will support the improvement of an intervention program to be developed with these students.
Students, Nursing; Interpersonal Relations; Clinical Competence; Competency-Based Education; Nursing Education Research