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Teaching Ethics


published on April 1, 2016

Edith A. West

Constructivist Theory and Concept-Based Learning in Professional Nursing Ethics: Implications for Nurse Educators

Traditional methods of teaching professional nursing ethics in the classroom have translated into limited success in clinical practice. Students don’t perceive an integration of ethics education in practical clinical settings, while educators grapple with a lack of perceived ‘excellence of moral character’ in their students when they are taught intellectual virtues and theoretical wisdom in the classroom that they do not see demonstrated in the clinical setting. Also traditionally, emphasis in ethics teaching has tended to focus on the nurse-patient relationship, while less attention has been paid to nursing in a more inter/intra professional or global context. The purpose of using constructivist theory and concept-based learning strategies to teach junior level nursing students ethics was to present implications for nurse educators that will help them foster/improve their student’s critical thinking, and increase their mastery and global integration of the complex abstract concepts associated with professional nursing ethics.

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