Moral Responsibility: A Relational Way of Being
Nursing Ethics 2007 March; 14(2): 129-140
This article reports a study exploring the meaning of the complex phenomenon of moral responsibility in nursing practice. Each of three focus groups with a total of 14 student nurses were conducted twice to gather their views on moral responsibility in nursing practice. The data were analysed by qualitative thematic content analysis. Moral responsibility was interpreted as a relational way of being, which involved guidance by one's inner compass composed of ideals, values and knowledge that translate into a striving to do good. It was concluded that, if student nurses are to continue striving to do good in a way that respects themselves and other people, it is important that they do not feel forced to compromise their values. Instead they should be given space and encouragement in their endeavours to do good in a relational way that advances nursing as a moral practice.
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