Sample Nursing Paper on Addressing Ethical Issues

Addressing Ethical Issues

In today’s society, every profession including the nursing profession must be responsible not only for legal issues but also ethical issues that arise. Nursing professionals often determine what they have the right to do and what is right for them as they execute their responsibilities. Ethics has been established to guide the moral values of nurses in everything they do such as the decision-making process. There are key steps in addressing ethical issues that arise particularly in the nursing context.

The first step is identifying the problem by gathering as much relevant information as possible. The stakeholder engaged in addressing any ethical issue must investigate and ensure that solving any critical dilemma is acted upon with the right information and relevant facts. Also, both parties should be involved in addressing the ethical issue (Gritten, Saastamoinen & Sajama, 2009). This means that the parties would be able to share their own side of the story and opinions allowing easy gathering of the relevant information. The stakeholder should also clarify the dilemma to both parties whether it needs to be addressed as a legal, moral, or ethical issue.

Second is the identification of the potential issues involved. In this step, the stakeholder should list and describe the critical issues encountered between given parties. The rights, responsibilities, and welfare of the parties involved in the given dilemma should be evaluated. Additionally, the stakeholder should consider basic moral principles of the parties, as well as identify the competing principles (Noel-Weiss, Cragg, & Woodend, 2012). Thus, the stakeholder would be able to understand what is at stake as some individuals in the professional context may consider loyalty as an important value while others equality as an important value in addressing an ethical issue. Also, the stakeholder should consider and evaluate the potential consequences of the given ethical issue to the parties and the organization as a whole.

Reviewing the organization’s code of ethics, policies, and relevant laws is another major step in addressing an ethical issue. The stakeholder is allowed to decide on the course of action to be taken for a given ethical issue or dilemma. The fourth step of addressing ethical issues is to evaluate the potential courses of action. The stakeholders engaged in addressing a given ethical issue should brainstorm on ideas in order to find effective solutions to the dilemma. They should enumerate the impact of outcomes of various decisions on the involved parties, department, and the organization as a whole (Rossy, 2011). Also, the parties involved in the given ethical issue should be informed of the consequences of their actions when they chose to ignore the organization’s professional or ethical obligations.

Consultation is the fifth step in addressing an ethical issue. Stakeholders involved in the process should often consult an outside professional to acquire a given perspective of solving a dilemma. It is of importance as it enables stakeholders to take an effective course of action for the experienced dilemma. Also, it enables the stakeholders to justify a given course of action based on sound reasoning, taken against certain ethical inaction.

The final step is determining the best course of action. In this step, the stakeholder can engage an outside professional or use the organization’s laws and policies in taking a course of action against a given ethical issue. Moreover, the stakeholder should consider the consequences of any course of action taken against the parties involved in a given ethical issue.



Gritten, D., Saastamoinen, O., & Sajama, S. (2009). Ethical analysis: A structured approach to facilitate the resolution of forest conflicts. Forest policy and economics11(8), 555-560. Retrieved from

Noel-Weiss, J., Cragg, B., & Woodend, A. K. (2012). Exploring how IBCLCs manage ethical dilemmas: a qualitative study. BMC medical ethics13(1), 18. Retrieved from

Rossy, G. L. (2011). Five questions for addressing ethical dilemmas. Strategy & Leadership39(6), 35-42. Retrieved from