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Teaching Ethics in Nursing Education - A case study of teaching in a New Zealand tertiary education context

Nurses face a plethora of ethical challenges in their everyday practice. In order to help trainees become aware of the multiple issues they will face beyond the classroom, nursing educators have acknowledged the criticality of having an ethical component taught throughout the nursing curriculum of a tertiary education institution. The purpose of this study was to explore what experiences and challenges nursing educators faced teaching such content and to identify the sorts of difficulties being encountered in their own classroom practice. A self-selecting sample of seven nursing educators working at a large, New Zealand tertiary institution in the North Island were interviewed. After transcribing data from the interviewing process, seven dominant themes emerged from the inductive data analysis process. A general model of teaching was adopted to analyse these multiple themes. In this respect, the variables identified in this model involved considerations of the teaching content, the teacher, the learner, the context, and the educators’ ideals. Adopting a principled approach to teaching ethics was acknowledged as a challenge by the participants because of the friction identified between culturally specific and universalist principles. Nonetheless, the importance of promoting students’ ethical awareness through the adoption of codes of ethics in the nursing programme was emphasised. Sharing cases from personal experience to supplement textual narratives was an important way to bridge the divide between theory and practice. That ethics be integrated throughout the whole nursing programme was the general consensus. The challenge in teaching ethics lies in the changing context of nursing and the changing context of ethics itself. Despite such hurdles, the nursing educators in this study were confident teachers who all had positive experiences in teaching ethics to their students.
Type of thesis
Song, W. J. (2017). Teaching Ethics in Nursing Education - A case study of teaching in a New Zealand tertiary education context (Thesis, Master of Education (MEd)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11643
University of Waikato
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