Ethical Theories of Nursing
Topics: Ethics / Pages: 5 (1955 words) / Published: Oct 7th, 2014

When a person meets the unfortunate circumstance of being admitted to a hospital for an illness they are depending on healthcare personnel to have their best interest in mind and make them better. When people think of who it is taking care of them and making them better they specifically think of Doctors and Nurses. As Doctors and more specifically Registered Nurses it is their duty to have a client’s best interest in mind and always act in their benefit. This raises the question, what guides Nurses to maintain this mindset of always putting the patient first? The answer is their ethical duty, meaning every nurse is guided by ethical theories and principles which help guide them as a patient advocate. It is these ethics that make a nurse so valuable to clients and ultimately makes a nurse the client’s best advocate. In this paper the core ethical theories and principles will be discussed and how exactly this helps RN’s be the best possible advocate and what benefits the clients themselves derive from these ethical theories. In order to properly understand the ethical theories of nursing one must first know what the core ethical principles and theories in nursing are.
The ethical principles of nursing are Autonomy, Beneficence, Fidelity, Informed consent, Integrity, Justice, Nonmaleficence, Paternalism, Veracity, as well as Privacy and confidentiality. Some ethical theories that influence nursing practice are Consequentialism, Deontology, Ethical Relativism, Utilitarianism theory, Teleology, Virtue ethics, and Justice and equity. To a layperson some of these words may make sense and others may not. In order to better understand how these theories and principles shape the practice of nursing you must better understand what they mean. A brief description of some of these terms will be given before their influence on nurses is discussed. Autonomy refers to the patients’ own rights to make decisions about their healthcare, health, and lives without the

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