OJN  Vol.4 No.10 , September 2014
Considerations in Dealing with Ethical Conflict Encountered in Healthcare Reform: Perceptions of Nurse Leaders
ABSTRACT
With the nursing profession continuing to face an array of ethical issues, the article reports the findings of a survey of members of the American Organization of Nurse Executives conducted in 2012 to determine the extent to which nurse leaders at different organization levels perceive various factors in their personal, professional and organizational environments to be helpful in resolving ethical dilemmas. After their personal values, nurse leaders perceive factors related to their organization to be more helpful than those related to their profession, including, among others, the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics. The two highest rated business-related factors deal with the absence of pressure to compromise one’s own ethical standards which suggests that one way healthcare organizations can assist nurses and their leaders is by neither explicitly nor implicitly pressuring them to go against their own ethical values. Other key factors related to the organization include formal organizational factors such as the existence of an ethics committee or a person to whom unethical activity can be reported as well as more informal factors related to organizational climate such as the actions and responsiveness of one’s immediate boss, the ability to go beyond one’s boss if necessary, the organizational culture, management philosophy, and management’s communication of appropriate ethical behavior. Comparison of the findings of the 2012 survey with those of a similar study conducted in 2000 indicated the four factors perceived as most helpful in both studies were identical with the same rank order and the top-10 factors were identical with some differences in ranking. Further analysis indicated the relative degree of helpfulness of the 17 help factors common to both studies was perceived by responding nurse leaders as quite similar overall. The authors also discuss the implications for the profession and the healthcare industry today and in the future.

Cite this paper
Cooper, R. , Frank, G. and Shogren, C. (2014) Considerations in Dealing with Ethical Conflict Encountered in Healthcare Reform: Perceptions of Nurse Leaders. Open Journal of Nursing, 4, 695-704. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2014.410074.
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