A conceptual approach to the identification of essential ethics content for the undergraduate nursing curriculum


  • Carroll A Quinn MSN

    Corresponding author
    1. Doctoral Candidate, Indiana University School of Nursing, Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Nursing, Miami University, Oxford and Staff Nurse/Member, Medical Ethics Committee, Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
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Carroll A. Qumn, 1339 Suncrest Drive, Cincinnah, Ohio 45208 USA


While the importance of ethics content in the nursing curriculum is recognized, few guidelines exist to aid faculty in decisions regarding ‘essential’ content Comparison of documents from the Hastings Center Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life Sciences, and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing suggests that outcomes for the undergraduate nursing curriculum reflect the goals of both undergraduate and professional ethics education as identified by the Hastings Center study Faculty are faced with the challenge of adequately addressing ethics in an already filled undergraduate curriculum The conceptual integration of traditional clinical ethics with professional socialization and issues of professionalism provides a workable approach for identifying and integrating the necessary ethics content Within this integrated approach the author identifies seven areas essential to the undergraduate curriculum the moral ideals of the nursing profession, clarification of personal and professional values, moral issues/dilemmas common to nursing practice, recognizing ethical issues, basic ethical theory and principles, practice m analysis and debate, and the moral nature of a profession