Journal List > J Korean Acad Nurs Adm > v.21(3) > 1051808

Shin, Jeong, Lee, and Yang: Experiences of Ethical Issues and Needs for Ethics Education in Clinical Nurses



This study was done to identify the experiences of ethical issues and needs for ethics education in clinical nurses.


A cross-sectional survey was used and data were collected in 2013. Participants were 428 clinical nurses working in the general units of seven medical hospitals. The Ethical Issues in Clinical Practice Tool was used. Data analysis was performed using SPSS/WIN 19.0.


'Providing care with a possible risk to your health' was the most frequent and disturbing ethical problems for nurses. The highest helpful ethical topic was 'the patients' right, autonomy and informed consent'. The ethical issue experience was significantly different according to education level, work units, and type of employment. The necessity of ethics education was statistically different according to age, religion, level of education, duration of working as RN, position, shift type, and continuing education about nursing ethics.


The results of this study show that nursing educators need to provide practical ethics education based on frequent ethical issues and helpful education topics. These findings can be used in developing effective education strategies for clinical nurses and nursing organizations to improve nurses' ethical decision-making abilities.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

General Characteristics of the Participants (N=419)

Table 2

Degree of Experience of Ethics Human Rights Issues and The Rank of Most Personally · Disturbing Issues (N=419)


MDI=Most disturbing issue.

Table 3

Activities for Handling Most Recent Disturbing Ethics ·Human Rights Situations (N=419)

Table 4

Perceived Needs for More Ethics·Human Rights Education in Nursing Practice (N=419)

Table 5

Differences of Experience about Ethical·Human Right Issues and Perceived Needs for More Ethics Education according to Characteristics of Participants (N=419)



This article is based on a part of the first author's master's thesis from Chonbuk National University


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