Exploring The Heart Ofethical Nursing Practice: implications for ethics education

Nursing Ethics 11 (3):240-253 (2004)
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The limitations of rational models of ethical decision making and the importance of nurses’ human involvement as moral agents is increasingly being emphasized in the nursing literature. However, little is known about how nurses involve themselves in ethical decision making and action or about educational processes that support such practice. A recent study that examined the meaning and enactment of ethical nursing practice for three groups of nurses (nurses in direct care positions, student nurses, and nurses in advanced practice positions) highlighted that humanly involved ethical nursing practice is also simultaneously a personal process and a socially mediated one. Of particular significance was the way in which differing role expectations and contexts shaped the nurses’ ethical practice. The study findings pointed to types of educative experiences that may help nurses to develop the knowledge and ability to live in and navigate their way through the complex, ambiguous and shifting terrain of ethical nursing practice



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