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The theoretical basis of interpersonal and intergroup relationships in nursing education and clinical practice are better understood with the aid of Social Psychology theory. Social identity theory provides explanations in relation to the formation of a social as well as a personal identity and analyses the processes which take place in psychological and social level. The theory attempts to explain under which circumstances differences in professional status among people might promote or inhibit conflict between members of the same social or professional group as well as among members of diverse groups. The article aims to present the key elements of social identity theory, a theory scarcely used in nursing, and to discuss aspects of the socialization process in nursing in the light of the theory.