Free «Ethics in Nursing Education» Essay Sample

Ethics in Nursing Education

Nursing education in the United States faces numerous ethical issues which have often been overlooked in the past years. Ethics in nursing education is a broad topic, as nursing education issues vary from being faculty centered to student centered among others. The selected qualitative research article for this study is “Ethical Issues Occurring within Nursing Education” published in a peer reviewed article on nursing ethical issues and authored by Marsha D. Fowler and Anne J. Davis. This paper demonstrates that the article is effectively structured in terms of its research study, the setting of the research study, the methods of data collection, and data analysis methods used, hence, making it reliable in terms of informing evidence-based practice. Ethics is critical in nursing practice and it has to be upheld from day one till the eventual retirement in order to facilitate improved outcomes for patients.

The Purpose of the Research Study

The main purpose of the qualitative research study is to inform the matters of curricula of ethics in education as far as nursing schools are concerned. According to Fowler and Davis (2013), this qualitative research is basically peer reviewed and digs into previously discussed ethical issues in various articles that touched on ethical issues involved in nursing education. Particularly, the research study focuses on specific ethical issues in nursing education, addressing single topics specifically. These single topics include cheating commonly done by students, prejudicial grades assignment, sexual relationships between students and teachers, the violation of human rights, discrimination, racism, and the moral conflicts that occur among faculty members (Butts, 2010). The research study highlights the ethical issues and does not give a further discussion of the identified issues. This is because the research study does not give a systematic analysis as well as an explication of the ethical issues and ethical dilemmas that occur in nursing education.

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It also further provides the spectrum in which these issues occur in nursing education. The study examines the theories or rather the issues that should be included in the nursing curricula. It also prompts a study that is both thorough and systematic of the identified ethical issues. Furthermore, it lays the research groundwork through the identification and the provisional typology of the ethical issues occurring in the setting of academic nursing (Heskell, 2010). The research study provides a view that on systematically studying and evaluating the ethical issue in nursing education and the curricular issues, these ethical issues can be done away with, therefore, ensuring ethical moral standards in nursing curricula and nursing education.

Study Design

This research study uses the ethnographic study design. This study design focuses on a particular context or culture using data collection methods such as observation. Fowler and Davis (2013) affirm that the research study employs the ethnographic research design, clearly discussing ethical issues in the nursing education context. Under this study design, the research study uses the observation method of data collection to observe various articles on nursing education and ethics to elaborate the ethical issues regarding the nursing education.

The Setting of the Research Study

The research study is done based on the nursing education setting. The setting of the United States nursing education requires that all registered nurses should receive their basic education in four avenues. The first avenue includes diploma in studies of nursing. The nursing diploma takes three years after which a student nurse is given a certificate. Second is the avenue of associate of science in nursing, whereby a student nurse takes three years in college, but specifically bases ерушк studies in clinical knowledge besides the clinical skills (Heskell, 2010). The third avenue involves a bachelor of science in nursing which takes four to five years in a university focusing on research and leadership and taking courses that concentrate on clinical practices. The forth level of nursing education is the Masters level, which takes one to three years.

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In numerous programs of nursing in the United States, students are evaluated using a computerized exam which is given before, during, and upon completion of the nursing program to determine the outcomes of the nursing program. After the completion of the exam that is required for the nursing program, a nursing student is required to sit for a licensure board exam for the state. This exam provides the strength beside the weaknesses of the student and the areas that the student ought to correct, sitting for the board exam of the state (Fowler & Davis, 2013). Nursing education is not only open for the American students, who would like to work in the nursing sector but also students from other countries.

Data Collection Methods

Basically, qualitative research employs data collection methods which involve direct interaction with people on a face to face basis or the direct interaction of grouped individuals. This qualitative research study uses the action research method of data collection. According to Fowler and Davis (2013), the general point of view is that action research always involves a process of interactive inquiry, which tries to balance the actions of problem solving. This type of data collection method is an initiative in solving an immediate problem or a problem that is progressing, involving a reflective case. In this case, the research study uses action research method of data collection to show the ethical issues that are experienced in nursing education and providing an opportunity for them to be solved in future, therefore, putting to an end the issue of moral ethics in nursing education. The research study also uses this method to suggest the typologies that can be used in nursing curricula to avoid ethical issues.

The research study also employs the observation method of data collection. An observation of the various ethical issues that face nursing education is done through the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and databases in PubMed. Using this approach, an observation of the ethical issues presented by various articles is made. 2600 articles were searched and observed using terms such as ethics and nursing education (Fowler & Davis, 2013). Thereafter, the varied ethical issues connected to nursing education were observed and identified.

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Data Analysis Methods

The research study uses various data analysis methods. First, it uses the content analysis method of data analysis. Content analysis provides an objective analysis as it summarizes any type of content by including the varied content aspects. Therefore, this qualitative research uses content analysis to objectively analyze various ethical issues in nursing education. This method also provides an analysis of the typology that can be used in categorizing ethical issues (Butts, 2010). This suggested typology involves categorizing ethical issues in nursing education in terms of students, faculty and the administration of nursing education, academic integrity, societal integrity, professional relations, and societal and global relations with each category being affiliated with specific ethical issues.

Another data analysis method used in the research study is grounded analysis. Grounded analysis is a data analysis methodology that involves the conceptualization of data. In the research study on ethical issues in nursing education, the grounded analysis method of data analysis has been used to develop the concept of lack of adequate nurses in the United States. Through the grounded analysis of the ethical issues associated with nursing education, a conclusion has been made that ethical issues in nursing education force students to only identify with nursing for career values. They often lack the basic values required for nursing, which eventually leads to their dislike of nursing.

Critique of the Research Study

The problem addressed in the research study is significant to nursing and healthcare. This is because it addresses various ethical issues that are related to the training of nurses who work in the healthcare system. Heskell (2010) agrees that these ethical issues somehow have negative implications for the healthcare system, as they can be used to explain the lack of adequate healthcare workers and nurses in the healthcare system. They also explain the reason why some nurses are not suffieciently motivated to perform their duties. However, the lessons learnt from the ethical issues presented in the research study can help in ensuring best practices in nursing education that uphold moral integrity. The problem presented can help the education sector in the United States to make sure that nursing students are positively motivated to become good professionals and that they are also instilled with nursing values by colleges and universities.

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The research study covers a review of background, tracing the early history of nursing education in the United States and discussing various topics including nursing ethics and the nursing faculty mobbing. The research study carefully observes the ethical standards of research. This is because it employs the qualitative research methods, such as observation, apart from using data analysis method in the study, such as content analysis. The observations made are the various ethical issues related to nursing education that are derived from previously written articles. The study uses content analysis to explain these ethical issues (Butts, 2010). The research study further provides the implications of the research problems and findings. Therefore, the research study follows the necessary procedures for any type of research. Furthermore, the findings of this research study largely add to the current body of knowledge as it informs the various malpractices witnessed in nursing education in the various categories of knowledge. The findings also provide knowledge concerning the current condition that exists in the healthcare system that involves nurses, such as the inadequate number of nurses in the health care system.


In conclusion, the qualitative research study did not advance nursing knowledge in terms of building an evidence based practice. This is because the research study only highlighted the ethical issues involved in nursing education. It did not give a progressive overview of these ethical issues. Any research should always have evidence of the stated findings and conclusions. The research study lacks the appropriate findings with specific examples explaining the context of ethical issues in nursing education. In addition, the research study could have given a study analysis in terms of the number of students or individuals involved in the mentioned ethical issues with the names of states affected by ethical issues in nursing education. This could have been the basis of acquiring accurate evidence as required by any research. However, it added some knowledge to the general field of nursing education as it brought various ethical issues that occur in nursing education to people’s attention, providing a typology that can be used in evaluating them.