Application of Ethics As a Daily Nursing Goal

Application of Ethics As a Daily Nursing Goal

People who pursue a career in nursing often do so because they feel compelled to help society. They contribute to society by providing medical care as a health professional. Different types of patients require special attention that takes into account the uniqueness of each client. By addressing needs on an individual basis, nurses preserve patients' dignity. Applying ethics in every situation and using those ethical concepts as the foundation of your daily nursing practice will help make you a great health care professional.

Definition of care
Caring is often considered to be the practice of looking after those that can't care for themselves, especially sick and elderly people. When people think about nursing, caring is often immediately associated with the profession and the character of nurses.

One of the most well-known experts on nursing ethics is Dr. Jean Watson. She created a caring theory that is used in hospitals across the world. The three primary elements in her theory are the carative factors, the transpersonal caring relationship, and the caring occasion or caring moment. The first element, carative factors, focuses on the human aspects of the nursing profession. Transpersonal caring relationships are described as a nurse's conscious actions of care and their moral dedication to making a real connection with their patients. The third element, caring moments or occasions, are the real-world events where patients and nurses collaborate on a level in which caring can occur.

Applying ethics to everyday practice as a goal
As a nurse, you will experience days where effective caring may not be simple. Frustration and inexperience can make your job challenging. However, if you can remember to focus on building a relationship with your patients, you can overcome almost any difficult nursing situation. According to ethics scholar Joan Tronto,  there are four phases of caring and four elements of care giving. These guidelines focus on the interactions between nurses and patients. The four phases of caring begin with a nurse caring about their patient and recognizing that the patient needs assistance. The second phase sees the nurse actually taking care of the individual as a responsibility. A nurse in the third phase of caring takes action and provides care. The fourth phase assesses the effectiveness of the caregiving. Great nurses hone their ability to recognizing the unique needs of a patient. They focus on their clinical training, but also try to forge a caring relationship with the people under their care. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a nonprofit, accredited, online university. WGU offers online RN to BSN, BSN to MSN, and RN to MSN degree programs to working nurses who already have a current RN license. To find out more, please visit

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