BMC Medical Ethics 21 (1):1-10 (2020)

Introduction Good quality of care is dependent on nurses’ strong clinical skills and moral competencies, as well. While most nurses work with high moral standards, the moral performance of some nurses in some organizations shows a deterioration in their moral sensitivity and actions. The study reported in this paper aimed to explore the experiences of nurses regarding negative changes in their moral practice. Materials and methods This was a qualitative study utilizing an inductive thematic analysis approach, which was conducted from February 2017 to September 2019. Twenty-five nurses participated in semi-structured interviews. Results The main theme that emerged from our analysis was one of moral neutralization in the context of an unethical moral climate. We found five sub-themes, including: feeling discouraged; normalization; giving up; becoming a justifier; and moral indifference. Conclusions Unethical moral climates in health organizations can result in deterioration of morality in nurses which can harm both patients and health systems. Some unethical behaviors in nurses can be explained by this process.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1186/s12910-020-00558-3
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 62,363
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Nursing Ethics.Ian E. Thompson, Kath M. Melia & Kenneth M. Boyd (eds.) - 2006 - Churchill Livingstone Elsevier.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
4 ( #1,241,436 of 62,327 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #457,259 of 62,327 )

How can I increase my downloads?


Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes