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Introduction Nursing theory is essential to all nurses as they develop their knowledge through their extended studies and learn to evaluate the different cases they will encounter during their careers. Most notably, understanding ethics in nursing theory is also important as part of the evaluation process as concerns patients and their health. In a global society, technology and research knowledge are advancing at a rapid rate, and more so now than ever before, future nurses must engage in continual education and developing their theories of nursing. The term, ethical knowing, outlines the fundamental pattern of knowledge, theory and purpose in the business of nursing (Carper, 1978; Noureddine, 2001). Ethical Knowing It should be understood that while nursing goals and actions within the terms of ethical knowledge is evaluated within the framework of each medical case the nurse will encounter. While a simple solution might be viewed as obvious, in a further review of the circumstances surrounding a case, it may be determined that another path of treatment would be far better for the patient rather than just the accepted book-learned course of treatment. In reviewing ethical knowing from a philosophical viewpoint and through terms of ontological and epistemological dimensions, the ontological dimension refers to ethical traits which nurses must possess – empathy and compassion. In the epistemological dimension, the moral validity of what nurses must be is to be truthful and maintain the confidentiality of the patient (Noureddine, 2001). Ethical theories encompass the deontological, utilitarian, right-based, intuitionist theories which are associated most often with ethics in nursing. Deontological, duty-based theories have four major principles: the personal liberty to act; doing no harm; action which improves the welfare of others; and justice in treating people equally and fair distribution of resources (Noureddine, 2001). Utilitarian theory is action-based with the outcome as the basis, which is also referred to as maximizing the good for everyone rather than addressing individuals. Right-based theories are more concerned with the individual as the center and protecting individual choice. Autonomy and self-determination are part of right-based theories. Intuitionist theories, on the other hand, put the elements of duties, rights and goals on the same level, and it is up to the nurse and her moral intuition to make the ethical decision for any particular situation (Noureddine, 2001). Yet, as nurses have discovered for themselves, occasional cases may show that two theoretical frameworks may apply, and determining the more salient resolution, becomes a dilemma for the nurse in the process of caregiving. Initially, nurses might question why there is such a thing as nursing theory and for those who are first encountering the concept of theory, the reaction is one of fear and trepidation (McEwen & Wills, 2010). The point for theory in nursing is that it educates nurses to think on a more evolved level which will assist them later as professional nurses in assessing individual cases. Theory can also be from outside of the nursing field when assisting in looking at and analyzing a case from all angles. Ultimately, theory is ‘guidance through interpretive assumptions, principles and propositions which help explain and ...Show more


Nursing Theory Abstract This is a short review of nursing theory and how it relates to the education of today’s nursing students which will later affect the professional nurse in a nursing career. There are many ways to look at medical cases, yet each one is distinctly different than the next one and therefore, adequate knowledge in practice and in nursing theory is essential to a well-rounded professional nurse…
Author : heaneynaomie
Term paper 2 essay example
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