An analysis of undergraduate and graduate student nurses' moral sensitivity

Nursing Ethics 19 (1):116-127 (2012)
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Abstract

This study describes the level of moral sensitivity among nursing students enrolled in a traditional baccalaureate nursing program and a master’s nursing program. Survey responses to the Modified Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire for Student Nurses from 250 junior, senior, and graduate students from one nursing school were analyzed. It was not possible to draw conclusions based on the tool. Moral category analysis showed students ranked the category structuring moral meaning highest and interpersonal orientation second. The moral issue ranking highest was honesty, respect for the patient second, and third was responsibility to know the patient’s situation. Seniors agreed more often about the need to focus on patient safety. As students progress through the baccalaureate program and into the graduate program, their perspectives increasingly recognize the contextuality of moral issues. The results show a need to further develop a tool to measure moral sensitivity, using student understanding and perceptions of moral issues

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