Free «The Importance of Acting Ethically When Working As a Nurse» Essay Sample


More often than not, healthcare professionals face intricate ethical dilemmas in their line of duty. While some of the healthcare professionals confront the ethical issues directly, others turn away. However, moral courage dictates that nurses should address ethical issues and take the right action even if doing the right thing is not easy. Ethics is important to all nurses as those who apply it improve their relations with the patients, clients and co-workers, thus implying that people are treated with dignity (Lengel, n.d.). The aim of this paper is to profile the importance of nurses acting ethically while implementing their duties.

Lengel defines ethics as the standards of right or wrong that are professionally mandated by nurses.  Although there may be arguments as to what is right or wrong, ethical principles in the nursing profession should be adhered to in order to govern how a nurse should act and behave. According to eHow, to act ethically simply means choosing to do the right things and avoiding what is seen as wrong. Nurses who actethically are seen as those who have a good set of moral, and doing their job just to gain something in return or avoid punishment.

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Addressing ethical obligations and nurse’ duties, helps answer the question of what right is to be done in the current situation. It helps fulfill the following obligations: respect the patient’s privacy, have an honest communication regarding the patient’s diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment, and conduct an ethically valid process of an informed consent (Lachman, 2008). It is therefore important that nurse exhibit high levels of ethical standards in their line of duty. This is because nurses have a duty to protect the privacy and confidentiality of their patients. A prime example is that nurses should never let strangers access a patient’s private information except for the other health care providers; or nurses should never let other people see their patients when they are undressed. When nurses maintain their clients’ privacy, the bond between the patient and the health care provider is maintained. As a result, the patient will trust their health care provider to maintain confidential items and will more likely share more things with the health care provider (Lengel, n.d.).

Acting ethically as a nurse is important to the patient, as nurse advocate for the patient’s best interest. This will help put action into the nurse’s obligations. The nurse ought to position himself/herself as the patient’s advocate, act with courage, including supporting ones professional obligations, doing what is right and stand for their patients in the controversies with some physicians. Nurses ought to feel free engaging in advocacy roles in health care because this will help gain the patient’s self-determination as far as rules, nurses timidity and regulations are concerned. Standing up in advocacy will require overcome the challenges of moral blindness, moral distress, and moral complacency (Lachman, 2008). Advocacy will help support a case or a cause to safeguard a patient’s autonym, act on behalf of the patient and champion social justice in the provision of health care (Butts, n.d.).

Nurses need to have moral courage: having the courage to be moral. Five core values are associated with moral courage including honesty, respect, fairness, responsibility, and compassion. Having moral courage means that the nurse will overcome fear by confronting any issue head on, have the will to speak and do the right thing even when circumstances are against it. When nurses have moral courage to do what is right, they will feel a sense of peace in their decisions (Butts, n.d.).


It is prudent that nursing care professionally exhibit ethical issues in their line of duty. This is especially important for the best results in the relationship with the patient, as nurses have a duty to protect the privacy and confidential information of their clients. 


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