Ethics in Nursing
Ethics are an integral and critical aspect of nursing education and practice for diverse reasons. Notably, ethical practices help ensure that a nursing program complies with applicable laws, regulations, and accreditation standards, ensuring that students get a quality education for competent nursing practice (Taghadosi et al., 2021). On the other hand, ethics play a pivotal role in nursing practice as they provide a framework for making difficult decisions and resolving moral dilemmas that may arise in the healthcare setting (Haddad & Geiger, 2022). Adhering to ethical principles helps nurses act in their patient’s best interests and provide safe and appropriate care (McCradden et al., 2020). Furthermore, ethics are essential for maintaining the integrity of the nursing profession and promoting trust between nurses and patients. Therefore, unethical behaviors in nursing master’s programs and the nursing practice are discouraged and have diverse consequences.
Unethical Behaviors in a Nursing Master’s Program
One example of unethical behavior in a master’s nursing program could be the fabrication of research data. According to Kang & Hwang (2020), fabrication of research data refers to the act of making up or falsifying data in a research project. This behavior can take many forms, such as creating fake data sets, altering existing data, or misreporting results. Fabrication of research data is considered extremely serious, and it undermines the integrity of the research process and the credibility of the nursing program. Furthermore, this unethical behavior has various adverse consequences on students and the healthcare sector. Its repercussions on students include failure of the research project, expulsion from the nursing program, and damage to the student’s academic and professional reputation. In addition, if the fabricated research is published, it can harm the scientific community’s progress and adversely impact the provision of safe care.
Unethical Behaviors in the Nursing Practice
In the nursing practice, an example of unethical behavior could be discrimination against patients based on their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other protected characteristic. Discrimination in nursing practice can take many forms, such as providing poor-quality care, denying service, or making derogatory or harmful comments (Rafii et al., 2019). Notably, discrimination has adverse implications for patients and health providers. For healthcare providers, these consequences can include disciplinary action by the nursing board, loss of license to practice, and legal lawsuits. Besides, patients may file formal complaints, which can result in an investigation, a penalty, or even the revocation of the nurse’s license to practice. Furthermore, discrimination can harm the patient, as it can cause physical or emotional suffering or a barrier to access to necessary care (Williams et al., 2019). In addition, it can erode trust and confidence in healthcare providers, leading to a lack of trust in the health system and a mistrust of the healthcare providers.
Haddad, L. M., & Geiger, R. A. (2022). Nursing ethical considerations. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK526054/#
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. http://dx.doi.org/10.15722/jrpe.1.2.202009.7
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. https://doi.org/10.1093/jamia/ocaa085
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. https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2020.1759425
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. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-021-00537-y
Williams, D. R., Lawrence, J. A., Davis, B. A., & Vu, C. (2019). Understanding how discrimination can affect health. Health Services Research, 54, 1374-1388. https://doi.org/10.1111%2F1475-6773.13222