Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay

Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay


Nursing practice is centered on the tenets of ethical professionalism. Ethical based professional nursing practice can be dated back to the 18th century in England (Butts, & Rich, 2015). In the wake of the 21st century, aspects of ethical nursing have been a central theme of discussion with diverse views in the society. The rapidly evolving nursing practice has resulted in the expansion of nursing roles in the provision of advanced patient care. Notably, formulation of new health care policies accompanied by increased medical based scientific research activities has resulted in eminent conflicts with regard to nursing ethics. Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay. The result is nurses having difficulties distinguishing ethical and legal aspects when confronted with clinical ethical cases. In this regard, this paper provides a review foundations underlying ethical nursing practice.



Bioethics is a subgroup of ethics, which deals with healthcare moral issues. According to Fanning (2018), bioethics strives to provide answers on philosophical issues in healthcare scientific research. In this regard, professional nursing ethics align with the bioethical moral theories and concepts. Notably, in distinguishing between legal and ethical issues such as who should live or die, bioethical principles provide nursing the practitioners with guidelines that help in their decision-making process. However, Fanning (2018), asserts that bioethical principles may lead to conflict between nurses and other healthcare professionals Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay.

In this regard, nursing ethics, a subset of healthcare bioethics, strives to distinctively provide nursing practitioners with answers to moral issues. According to Grace (2017), provisions in nursing ethics provide a reference point on moral issues where nursing practice may conflict with other healthcare professionals. Further, since ethical issues in healthcare practice are often viewed from a nursing perspective rather than a medical angle, professional nursing ethics form the basis of nursing advocacy in advanced nursing care. Further, nurses spend considerable time with patient thus the need for their intervention on ethical issues pertaining patient safety.

Nursing ethics

Nursing ethics are based on moral theories and approaches. According to Butts, and Rich (2015), moral theories form a general guideline to individuals share the same belief, concepts, and values. In this regard, professional nursing care is based on theoretical concepts and principles such care, virtue ethics, deontology, virtue ethics, non-maleficence, and beneficence. Additionally, Grace (2017) observers that nurses incorporate the concepts of moral reasoning in the provision of patient care. As such, the integration of moral theories and moral reasoning facilitate the decision-making process in nurses when encountered with ethical issues Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay.

Nursing values

The nursing moral reasoning is integral in developing professional nursing values. The American Association of Nurses ( AAN) defines values as a group or self-evaluative judgments on what makes something good. Aspects such as dignity, integrity, and wholeness constitute to nursing values. In this regard, nursing values entail the ability to appreciate on what is good for all in the provision of healthcare. Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay. Notably, nursing values play a critical role in professional nursing practice Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay.

Professional Nursing ethics and codes

The American Association of Nurses (AAN) and the International Nursing Council (ICN) are some of the professional nursing organizations with well-stipulated nursing ethics. According to Grace (2017), ANA first adopted its code of ethics in 1950. In this regard, ANA  codes of ethics for nurses contains moral guidelines and standards which nurses can refer to when confronted with ethical issues. Notably, the AAN’s code of ethics is not negotiable with regard to nursing practice. On the other hand, the ICN code of ethics was first adopted in 1953 (Grace, 2017). This code highlights its four critical elements as standard related nursing practice, people, and coworkers. In this regard, both the AAN and ICN codes of ethics stipulates standards relating to the effective provision of nursing care to patients. However, as Grace (2017) pinpoints, nursing practitioners should not only use the conveyed professional codes but should also utilize the concepts of moral in their decision-making models. Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay.

Ethical analysis and decision-making model in nursing

Ethical analysis is an integral step in the decision-making process in ethical clinical cases. According to Grace (2017), ethical analysis entails four steps including evaluation of a medical condition, patient preferences, quality of life, and the prevailing contextual features. In this regard, by evaluating the aspects, nurses are able to make an informed decision with regard to the patient’s interest. Further, incorporating of nursing values and moral reasoning are among the critical considerations essential in decision-making. However, Butts and Rich (2015) assert that while executing their role as patient’s advocates, nurses may at times find themselves entangled in conflicts resulting in moral suffering. For instance, a nurse may be required to abide by hospital policies, government legislation, or hierarchical directives, which obstructs them from providing the best care to patients. In this regard, the existence of nursing ethics does not sufficiently enhance efficiency in nursing practice and which calls for a collective effort from the entire stakeholder in the healthcare sector Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay.


Butts, J., & Rich, K. (2015). Foundations of ethical nursing practice. Role development in professional nursing practice, 117.

Grace, P. J. (2017). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Fanning, J. B. (2018). Review of American Society for Bioethics and Humanities’ Clinical Ethics Consultation Affairs Committee, Addressing Patient-Centered Ethical Issues in Health Care: A Case-Based Study Guide1.

In this written assignment, identify one specific contemporary issue or trend that you are interested in learning more about. Choose from the categories below. For example you might want to learn more about why it is more difficult for some groups to receive care than others, which would fall under Client Access to Care. Or, you might want to compare nursing practice in the U.S. with how nurses practice in Japan, which would fall under the category of Global Healthcare and Nursing Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay.

Global Healthcare and Nursing
Healthcare Reform
U.S. Healthcare Financing
Nursing’s Role in the U.S. Healthcare System
Integrative Healthcare
Nursing Leadership and Management
Nursing Education
Nursing Practice
Nursing Professionalism
Advancing Nursing as a Profession
Client Access to Care
Delivering Client Care
Interdisciplinary Teamwork and Collaboration
Ethical Practices in Healthcare
Quality and Safety in Healthcare Delivery
Health/Nursing Informatics
Once the issue or trend is identified, find five important/significant facts about it, substantiated by an evidence-based article or reference. Include the article or references in your submission.

Submit your completed assignment by following the directions linked below. Please check the Course Calendar for specific due dates.

Save your assignment as a Microsoft Word document. (Mac users, please remember to append the ’.docx’ extension to the filename.) The name of the file should be your first initial and last name, followed by an underscore and the name of the assignment, and an underscore and the date Foundations of Ethical Nursing Practice Essay.

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