The Importance of Ethics in Nursing Education and Practice

The Importance of Ethics in Nursing Education and Practice


Ethics play a vital role in nursing education and practice, and their importance cannot be overstated. Ethics help to ensure that a nursing program is in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and accreditation standards, ensuring that students receive a quality education for competent nursing practice (Taghadosi et al., 2021). Additionally, ethical principles provide a framework for making difficult decisions and resolving moral dilemmas that may arise in the healthcare setting (Haddad & Geiger, 2022). By adhering to ethical standards, nurses are better equipped to act in their patients’ best interests and provide safe, appropriate, and effective care (McCradden et al., 2020). In this paper, we will explore the importance of ethics in nursing education and practice and the consequences of unethical behaviors.

Unethical Behaviors in Nursing Education

One unethical behavior that can occur in nursing education is the fabrication of research data. Fabrication of research data refers to the act of making up or falsifying data in a research project (Kang & Hwang, 2020). This behavior undermines the integrity of the research process and the credibility of the nursing program. The consequences of fabricating research data are severe, and may include failure of the research project, expulsion from the nursing program, and damage to the student’s academic and professional reputation. Furthermore, if the fabricated research is published, it can have a negative impact on the scientific community’s progress and the provision of safe care.

Unethical Behaviors in Nursing Practice

Discrimination against patients based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other protected characteristic is another example of unethical behavior in the nursing practice (Rafii et al., 2019). Discrimination can take many forms, such as providing poor-quality care, denying service, or making derogatory or harmful comments. The consequences of discrimination in nursing practice are significant, including disciplinary action by the nursing board, loss of license to practice, and legal lawsuits. Patients who experience discrimination may file formal complaints, which can result in an investigation, a penalty, or even the revocation of the nurse’s license to practice. Discrimination can also harm the patient, causing physical or emotional suffering or a barrier to access to necessary care (Williams et al., 2019). Additionally, discrimination erodes trust and confidence in healthcare providers, leading to a lack of trust in the health system and mistrust of healthcare providers.

Ethics are a critical component of nursing education and practice, helping to ensure that students receive a quality education and that patients receive safe, appropriate, and non-discriminatory care. Unethical behaviors such as fabrication of research data in nursing master’s programs and discrimination against patients in the nursing practice have serious consequences and must be avoided. By adhering to ethical principles, nurses can maintain the integrity of the nursing profession, promote trust between nurses and patients, and provide safe and appropriate care.
Haddad, L. M., & Geiger, R. A. (2022). Nursing ethical considerations. National Library of Medicine.
Kang, E., & Hwang, H. J. (2020). The consequences of data fabrication and falsification among researchers. Journal of Research and Publication Ethics, 1(2), 7-10.
McCradden, M. D., Joshi, S., Anderson, J. A., Mazwi, M., Goldenberg, A., & Zlotnik Shaul, R. (2020). Patient safety and quality improvement: Ethical principles for a regulatory approach to bias in healthcare machine learning. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 27(12), 2024-2027.
Rafii, F., Ghezeljeh, T. N., & Nasrollah, S. (2019). Discriminative nursing care: A grounded theory study. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 8(7), 2289.
Taghadosi, M., Valiee, S., & Aghajani, M. (2021). Nursing faculty’s point of view regarding noncompliance with ethics in academic environments: a qualitative study. BMC Nursing, 20(1), 1-10.
Williams, D. R., Lawrence, J. A., Davis, B. A., & Vu, C. (2019). Understanding how discrimination can affect health. Health Services Research, 54, 1374-1388.

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