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Project 2000 gives us an opportunity to reconsider the need for nursing ethics in initial nurse education in the United Kingdom Three arguments are presented to justify its inclusion The overall aim of an ethics course should be to help the student become an autonomous moral agent, capable of functioning in the complex and difficult nursing environment Hence, to design such a course we need an analysis of the skills, knowledge and motivation required by such an agent This will help us choose our objectives and course content A tentative analysis is offered Suggestions are made about the teaching of the course and the integration with other subject areas Some practical, moral and philosophical objections to this approach are considered and replies are offered