Professional ethics are at the foundation of nursing practice. Exploring ethical and legal issues that commonly arise in the practice of
the health care professional provides student nurses with the knowledge they need to understand their role in providing ethical care to
their patients. Ethical dilemmas in healthcare are not unique to nurses; however, the health care landscape is changing at an
unprecedented rate creating the potential for new dilemmas in practice. By examining the role of the nurse in collaboration with other
health care professionals, students learn the foundations for critically analyzing ethical dilemmas in nursing practice, clarifying values
and promoting moral considerations regarding health care challenges.
Develop a scholarly paper from one (1) of the following ethical topics/issues:
a. Professional Standards and Institutional Ethics
b. Ethical Problems of Death and Dying Assignment Criteria
Each student will develop a scholarly paper and include the following:
1. Describe the ethical topic AND a potential ethical dilemma as it relates to the ethical topic/issue.
a. Identify the stakeholders who are impacted or who may potentially be impacted by this ethical topic/issue.
b. Identify the legal concerns associated with the topic/issue.
2. Explore professional and personal values related to the ethical topic/issue.
a. Describe and support a position (values, attitudes, beliefs) on the issue, provide examples supported by current
b. Provide an alternative position on the issue, provide examples describing the alternative viewpoint with examples
supported by current literature.
3. Identify and discuss any new knowledge gained related to the topic/issue.
4. The scholarly paper should be 4-5 pages excluding the title and reference page.
5. Include an introductory paragraph, purpose statement, and a conclusion.
6. Include level 1 and 2 headings to organize the paper.
7. Write the paper in third person, not first person (meaning do not use ‘we’ or ‘I’) and in a scholarly manner. To clarify I, we,
you, me, and our may not be used. In addition, describing yourself as the researcher or the author should not be used. The
exception to this rule is if/when you do the reflective piece as it relates to your position (values) at the end.
8. Include a minimum of (4) professional peer-reviewed scholarly journal references to support the paper (review in Ulrich
Periodical Directory) and be less than five (5) years old.
9. APA format is required (attention to spelling/grammar, a title page, a reference page, and in-text citations).
One of the emerging ethical concerns regarding death and dying is poor communication which nurses may experience during the decision-making, especially when the patient cannot speak for themselves and the family members have a hard time making the best decision for their loved one. End-of-life discussions are always difficult. However, communicating with patients early and asking them about their wishes ensures a clear line of communication. Nurses should advocate for regular meetings with family members to ensure they are all on the same page regarding the patient’s health and the best steps to take in case the patient’s health deteriorates (Frost, Bosward, Aquino, Braunack-Mayer, & Carter, 2022). The second ethical dilemma is compromised patients’ autonomy. As a nurse, it is vital to consider the best treatment route by respecting patients’ autonomy. The nurse should encourage patients and their family members to discuss end-of-life care in advance so that nurses can provide care and maintain the patient’s wishes in case the patient loses the ability to make decisions. That prevents the nurse and the family members from getting into a compromising situation.