Professional Nursing. Ethical Dilemma


In daily professional life, people are mostly caught in various unpleasant situations which they ought to come up with a solid decision to curb the situation. It becomes difficult when professionals happen to compromise with ethical or moral principles because it is easy for them to opt for one solution which in the long run offends the other. The undecided situation in which any professional is caught up becomes an ethical dilemma. In fact all people would not wish to betray principles and ethics governing their professions but due to unavoidable circumstances, most of the professionals are compelled to commit the betrayal. This process of a person choosing what to do and what not to do a long his or her line of profession becomes a challenge to most of the professionals. In real life situations, there always exist at least one or two ethical dilemmas that are experienced by people along their line of profession (Younge and Van Niekerk, 2004).

An Ethical Dilemma Experienced In Nursing Profession

All ethical issues pertaining nursing profession have to be considered by the nursing professionals. All nursing professionals ought to serve patients in their capability levels so as to preserve their prestigious reputations. For them to achieve this reputation, they should abide by the healthcare ethical norms. In nursing profession, an example of an ethical dilemma may result when a patient ignores to follow the prescribed instructions, refuses to take treatment or care given by the nursing professional. When this scenario occurs, the nurse should coerce that particular resistible patient to take treatment. When she fails to do that, then she is said to be defying her profession’s ethics which proposes effective serving of the patients and seeking the diseased welfares (Chitty and Black, 2010). Basing on the same coercive scenario of the patient to take treatment, it also leads to the violation of the patient’s autonomy that stands out to be another obligation of the nursing profession ethics. According to the nursing profession healthcare Act, it is clearly stated that it is unethical to let the patient die unattended to and also forceful treatment to the patient is unethical. Now having encountered such situations in nursing profession, it becomes difficult for a nurse to make a decision because both her ethical and moral principles are adhered to a danger zone thus becoming at stake (Guido, 2001).

How to Handle Ethical Dilemma in Nursing Profession

Nurses should be encouraged to practice all the principle content philosophies in the nursing profession thus do develop and improve a personal nursing point of view. Nurses need also to beware of all nursing professional dilemmas related the nursing and medical arenas. This will help to demonstrate and direct enhancement of skills that address these issues in a manner that can uphold and withstand patients’ rights. This is of great importance to their profession whenever it is put in to consideration because it reserves their professional’s moral values and ethical working norms. Nurses also need to develop a reflective critical thinking perspective in their ethical dilemma in their professional ethics context so as to able to make informed and solid decisions on ethical matters resulting along their professional line thus harmonizing spirits involved in the codes of nursing ethics (Younge and Van Niekerk, 2004).

Causes of Action for Negligence in Nursing Profession

The major reason for occurrence of negligence in nursing profession is attributed to the increased rate malpractices cases that are often allocated to nurses. Among these compromising factors include: delegation whereby most of the professional nurses are delegating their duties to the immediate unqualified personnel who have not met the required nursing standards thus neglecting their roles. Another factor is the downfall number of nurses in addition to the downsizing of the hospitals which generates workloads to the personnel, a factor that results to occurrence of errors thus negligence of work occurs. The third factor is the technological advancement (Davies, 2002). The current advances that have cropped up in nursing profession have led to increased rate of work negligence. The reason is that most of the nurses luck proper knowledge on how to operate new technology mechanisms which leads to occurrence of errors at work. With regard to the mentioned factors, it is clearly evident that a times nurses are found negligent.


Chitty, K. K. & Black B.P. (2010). Professional Nursing: Concepts & Challenges. (6th ed). St. Louis: Elsevier Health Sciences Publication.

Davies, P.A. (2002). Nursing. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

Guido, G.W. (2001). Professional Liability Insurance. In: Legal and ethical issues in nursing. (3rd ed). NY: Prentice Hall; 2001. p. 200-10.

Younge, A. & Van Niekerk, F.C. (2004). Juta’s Manual of Nursing. New York: Juta and Company Ltd.

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