The Crucial Role of Nurses in Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare

Nursing profession is constantly changing with the development of new technologies that lead to a new level of responsibility. The new level of responsibility challenges nurses torespond to different and difficultsituations in the health care industry, especially in protecting the human right, dignity of patients and their safety. Nurses hold adistinctive position as patient advocates, regardless of their respective areas of practice; either in a home health, clinic, or in a hospital setting. Nursesare faced with ethical decisions, both personal and professional decisions.

One of the many roles played by a nurse is to advocate for his or her patients,provide holistic care for them, and make surethat their essential needs are met, as well as protecting them from any abuse.


To take a stand is not only acting as an advocate, but also creating a self-awareness, being assertive, be creative, be courageous, and he or she must have a moral and ethical capabilityto act under normal circumstances. As a manager, one must have the basic knowledge of ethical principal in order to apply it when making ethical decisions as well as using this knowledge as an outlineof approach that reducesexperimental errors while focusing on an established decision-making models.

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My role as a Moral Agent or Advocate

Myactivitiesas an advocate include letting others know of their rights and make sure that I supply them with adequate amount of data that they wouldbase their decisions on. (Marquis & Huston, 2012). There was a situation that occurred at my job a long time ago during the era of paper charting.

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It involved a nurse, who was from another country and had a problem pronouncing certain words, and had a heavy African accent. Also her writing was a problem because it was difficult to read and understand. When our boss heard our complaints, she gave all the nurses a mandate to tape-record our reports after we finish the paper charting.The boss’ mandate did not help the issue because this nurse’s writing was not legible as she endlessly made mistakes in her charting. It got to a point that every nurse on the unit including our boss began to make a mockery of her.

I confronted my nurse manager that it was inappropriate of her to join the other nurses in making the unit a hostile environment for the foreign nurse to work. My nurse manager told another employee that I am fighting a fight that is not mine, and this aggravated me to report the issue to the hospital administrators who had a meeting and instructed my boss to hold a unit meeting and openly apologize to the nurse victim and myself. I advocated for the nurse who at that time felt demoralized and rejected. The initial step I took was to go directly to my boss and discussed my observation about the “clicks” on the unit.

I suggested to my manager to schedule this nurse for a documentation class including me so that she would not feel isolated or intimidated. Finally, the manager reluctantly sent almost half of the unit to the documentation class. As nurses, we are advocates for our patients,and everybody around us, especially when they cannot speak for themselves (Marquis & Huston, 2012). At last my boss admitted that she exhibited a nonprofessional behaviorand she was very sorry about it and thanked me for taking a stand in making unit 3Gold a friendly unit to work. A unit where every nurse work as a team-member, and she thanked me for the advocacy role I displayed.

A Negative Outcome

It is important for the nurse manager to take the responsibility ofencouraging subordinate advocacy,and to make sure that he or she makes the unit a conducive atmosphere. For employees to workin an environment that is safe and favorablefor both professional and personal growth for subordinates (Marquis & Huston, 2012). A major negative outcome of the issue stated above is that the Unit could have become a hostile work environment. The situation would have resulted in the affected nurse quitting her job, and I was also ready to transfer to another unit. Irrespective of the language barrier and the other pertinent issues that this nurse had, she was a meticulous nurse.

She always worked as a team member anddedicated nurse.This is evidenced by the number of compliments she received each time our patient satisfactionsurvey report was reviewed, as well as the compliments from her patients. Strategies to help fulfill the role of an Advocate Accepting diversity and being culturally sensitive arethe motivating factorsenhancing the readiness to be an advocate for someone else. Diversity is the variancesbetweenindividuals or amongpeople from different ethnic backgrounds.

Ethnic sensitivity and consciousnessenhance thereadiness to take a stand and advocate for somebody else especially in this case with my coworker. It has been almost 35 years since I left my Country, Nigeria, and I still speak with some accent. Several characteristics of advocacy and the responsibility to the nursing profession increases the possibility that at some point in time, all nurses as well as managers will be confronted with ethical dilemmas in their practices (Marquis & Huston, 2012).

Motivation for taking a stand

My motivation is that when I came to this country in the 1990s, I was accommodated and given the chance to make mistakes and learn from them. Adapting to the American system was not an easy one regardless of my prior knowledge of the English language. I was faced with some challenges,but now I can take a stand to advocate for somebody else.


Every nurse has at some point played the role of an advocate,both for his or her patients andsomebody else because as nurses, every so oftenwe seeourselves advocating for the doctors, and the patients. Nurses ought to work together and help each other.Nurses must always work together to meet the standard of care and the ANA Code of Ethics and support the fundamental legalities as we take a closer look into the nurse’s ethical responsibilities and fundamental legalities associated with direct patient care.


Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2012). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application (Laureate Education, Inc., custom ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Perrotto, A., & Grossman, M. B. (2010). Ten ways to the top. Nursing Management, 41(4), 28–32. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Take a Stand Essay Guideline

Assignment Background:

Througahout this course, you will write a 500-750-word, five-paragraph essay in which you “Take a Stand” on an issue; such as Childhood Obesity, Underage Drinking, or Cyber Bullying to name a few suggestions. Doing so will allow you to demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate through writing. You will develop your essay by completing the following, which will be due in the following topics:

Topic 2: Research and Outline

Topic 4: Rough Draft
Topic 6: Final Draft

Instructions for completing each step will be provided within the week/topic in which it is due. You may review exemplars of both the rough and final drafts of a Take a Stand Essay.

Getting Started: Topic 2


As a college student, it is important for you to know how to prepare an essay. You should begin the writing process by brainstorming possible concepts you may want to write on and research. There are many ways you can brainstorm such as:

Free Writing


Take some time to brainstorm possible ideas for your essay. Here are some suggestions for getting started: Focus on a single problem or issue that is important to you. State the issue as a question using journalistic questions such as WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and HOW? Relax the mind and body! Relaxation enhances alertness, so take time to reflect on the topic you selected. Brainstorm about three to four solutions to the problem you have chosen. Give yourself a time limit. Set a time limit for your brainstorming session (10 minutes is recommended), but allow for several solutions or ideas to your issue. If you start to drift off topic; get refocused or stop and come back to the brainstorming when you are refreshed or have more time allotted. Evaluate your ideas. Once you have completed your brainstorming session, go back and evaluate your ideas and solutions. Your solutions should be rational and realistic, and obtainable before you proceed further with the writing process.

Decide on your Audience:

Who is the audience you are wishing to address? Who do you want your audience to know about the topic, or do you want to inform them on the issue you are “taking a stand” on? Will there be clues in your essay about who your audience is? For this assignment and essay, your instructor will be reading your essay; therefore you should write your essay in Third Person. Third Person: The most common form of writing at the academic level, and how you will write most of your formal essays. In Third Person, you are writing to an audience, and providing insight and information to inform and you will use such pronouns as “he, she, or they.”

Second Person: This is most rare point of view used, because it is used to address another person, such as in an advice column or cookbook with directions given. This point of view uses “you” to address another person in the writing. First Person: Most widely used, and also most incorrectly used at the academic level. This is taken from your personal perspective, so you see the use of “I” and “we” throughout the writing. This form of writing should be used with personal perspective, reflection, or in autobiographies.

Develop a Thesis Statement:

You need to begin to organize your thoughts about your topic into a thesis statement. The thesis statement should inform the rest of your essay by stating your position and your supporting arguments clearly and concisely. Your thesis statement should be 1-2 sentences in length discussing your three main points you wish to address in the body paragraphs of your essay. This will be your last statement in the introduction paragraph, and will also help the reader see what will be discussed in the following paragraphs. Please review the lecture notes on thesis writing if you are not clear on the formatting, as this is an important element to get correct before continuing with your writing.

Conduct Research:

Once you have created your thesis statement and know the direction of your essay, you will need to begin collecting data on your selected topic to assist you in supporting the solutions to the issue you present in your essay. Using the GCU eLibrary, locate three to five PEER REVIEWED sources related to your thesis statement. Condense your data, organize it, examine each fact; try not to get stuck on one solution as you need to show support within each of your supporting body paragraphs. You are required to use at least 1 peer reviewed source within your essay, however it is good practice to begin using multiple sources as this will be a later expectation in future courses.

Create an Outline of your Essay:

It is essential to organize your thoughts about your selected topic by creating an essay outline. An outline will ensure that you stay on topic throughout your essay, as well as align to your thesis statement. *This will be part of your Topic 2 Assignment, so an outline format will be provided for you to follow.

Writing your Rough and Final Drafts of the Essay: Topics 4 & 6

Rough Draft: Due in Topic 4

Pull all your thoughts and ideas together and write a rough draft of your essay. Refining ideas is integral to completing the rough draft of any essay or writing project. To assist you with this portion, please access the GCU Style Guide and Template located in: The Writing Center under the Student Success Center in the Classroom. You should use this template and guide to complete your rough draft to ensure you have all format elements. There is also an assignment rubric that will provide you with details on what elements will be evaluated, and how your overall grade will be reviewed and applied to this assignment.

Use the Academic Writing Resource located in the Course Materials; this is a great tool to use as you build and also review your writing.

Proofread before submitting! You are expected to review your spell and grammar checks before submitting to your instructor; there should be no grammatical errors! Once you have written your essay, take time to read through it with a critical eye, looking for repeated phrases, weak or no transitions from one thought to another, and redundancy. Are you saying the same thing over and over but with different words? For transition ideas, see the “Transitions Resource.”

Simplify your essay, paying close attention to the word count on the assignment criteria; you should not be under or over. Make sure you have cited all your sources in the essay and listed them in the reference section of your essay.

Submit the essay to Please WAIT for the TurnItIn (TII) score or percent to come back to you, BEFORE you submit to your instructor. You are not permitted to submit any major writing assignments over 20%. It is necessary and it is expected as a GCU student, to check the report regardless of scoring percent, to make sure you have cited all quoted material correctly. It is your responsibility to adhere and understand the Plagiarism Guidelines and Protocol of Grand Canyon University. (This process can take up to 24 hours, so plan responsibly and do not wait to submit to TII at 11pm on the night it is due!)

Revise-Final Draft Due in Topic 6:

Once you have received feedback from your instructor on your rough draft, make the necessary revisions to refine and finalize your essay. Be sure to read your essay aloud to someone, or have someone proofread your essay to catch any undetected grammar issues or clarity issues. *Please do not change your topic or essay at this final stage, unless this is discussed with your instructor previously.

Essay Checklist: Use with your Rough and Final Draft Submissions

___ Have you reviewed and applied corrections needed from your essay outline, to prepare your rough draft from the instructor feedback? (Rough Draft Only)

___ Have you reviewed and applied corrections needed from your rough draft, to prepare your final draft from the instructor feedback? (Final Draft Only)

___ Have you reviewed any ADDITIONAL ANNOUNCEMENTS from your instructor in regards to instruction with your essay?

___ Have you prepared your essay according to the guidelines found in the GCU Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center?

___ Have you reviewed the assignment rubric and include all requirements in your essay?

___ Have you submitted the assignment to TurnItIn, and checked your TII score before you submitted the essay?

Cite this page

The Crucial Role of Nurses in Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare. (2016, Aug 18). Retrieved from

The Crucial Role of Nurses in Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare

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