Nurse Activism in the newborn intensive care unit

Nursing Ethics 21 (2):198-209 (2014)
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Abstract

Nurses working in a newborn intensive care unit report that treatment decision disagreements for infants in their care may lead to ethical dilemmas involving all health-care providers. Applying Rest’s Four-Component Model of Moral Action as the theoretical framework, this study examined the responses of 224 newborn intensive care unit nurses to the Nurses Ethical Involvement Survey. The three most frequent actions selected were as follows: talking with other nurses, talking with doctors, and requesting a team meeting. The multiple regression analysis indicates that newborn intensive care unit nurses with greater concern for the ethical aspects of clinical practice (p =.001) and an increased perception of their ability to influence ethical decision making (p =.018) were more likely to display Nurse Activism. Future research is necessary to identify other factors leading to and inhibiting Nurse Activism as these findings explained just 8.5% of the variance.

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