The practice of nursing research: getting ready for ‘ethics’ and the matter of character

Nursing Inquiry 23 (1):24-31 (2016)
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Abstract

Few would argue with the idea that nursing research should be conducted ethically yet obtaining ethical approval is considered by many to have become unnecessarily burdensome. This brief article investigates the idea that there might be a relationship between the level of perceived burdensomeness of the research ethics application process on the one hand and the character of the nurse‐researcher on the other. Given that nurses are required to be other‐regarding, a nurse who undertakes research primarily for self‐regarding reasons would seem to be acting in ways inconsistent with the aims of nursing as set out in nursing codes. It is suggested that the self‐regarding nurse‐researcher may find the ethics application process more burdensome than the other‐regarding nurse‐researcher who, it is further suggested, is engaged with nursing research as a practice in the technical sense in which that term has been developed by the philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre.

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