In nursing, expectations of honesty and integrity are clearly stipulated throughout professional standards and codes of conduct, thus the concept of academic integrity has even more impetus in preparing students for graduate practice. However, a disparity between policy and practice misses the opportunity to instil the principles of academic integrity, and at its core honesty, a pivotal trait in the nursing profession. This study draws upon the experience of the nursing faculty to explore how academic integrity policy of deterrence operate in nursing education.While participants deplored cheating behaviours, they expressed frustration in having to ‘police’ large numbers of students who had little awareness of the academic standards to meet policy requirements. In addition, they were cynical because of a perceived lack of severity in sanctions for students who repeatedly breached integrity. Participants expressed a moral obligation as educators to meet student learning needs and preferred to engage with students in a more meaningful way to uphold academic integrity. The ambivalence to detect and report breaches in integrity undermines the effectiveness of policy. Therefore, faculty must recognise the importance of their role in detecting and escalating cases of dishonesty and execute deterrence in a more consistent way. To do this, greater support at an institutional level, such as smaller class sizes, inclusion in decision making around sanctions and recognition of additional workload, will enable faculty to uphold policy. Although policing was not their preferred approach, the role of faculty in detecting and reporting cases of misconduct is crucial to increase the certainty of students getting caught, which is essential if policy is to be effective in deterring dishonest behaviour.
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DOI 10.1007/s40979-021-00086-6
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