Nurses at the Table: Nursing, Ethics, and Health Policy

Edited by: Connie M. Ulrich, Christine Grady, Ann B. Hamric, Nancy Berlinger

“Few bioethicists are educated with a view into nursing,” observes the introduction to this special report—the first from the Hastings Center Report to focus on nursing. “Thus, much of the conceptual and empirical research on ethical issues in nursing practice has been conducted by nurse ethicists themselves and, to a lesser degree, by individuals with a strong interest in nursing ethics. Although this work has internally shaped nursing practice, education, and policy, the broader field of bioethics has seldom examined and acknowledged the everyday ethical concerns of practicing nurses and their important contributions to bioethics discourse.” Authored mostly by nurses, this special report examines how the profession addresses obstinate everyday ethics and health policy challenges and proposes further contributions for nurses to make in these areas. The eleven essays explore, among other topics, nursing’s moral imperative for engagement in national and global policy, how professional societies can provide support when clinical ethics problems arise, tensions between institutional obligations and the nurse’s duty to treat and duty to self, and what’s wrong with the concept of the nurse as the patient’s advocate. The introduction and two of the essays are available free online.




Nurses at the Table
Connie M. Ulrich


Cultivating Synergy in Nursing, Bioethics, and Policy
Christine Grady

Nursing’s Code of Ethics, Social Ethics, and Social Policy
Marsha D. Fowler

Educating Nurses for Ethical Practice in Contemporary Health Care Environments
Pam Grace and Aimee Milliken

Fostering Nurses’ Moral Agency and Moral Identity: The Importance of Moral Community
Joan Liaschenko and Elizabeth Peter

Institutional Ethics Resources: Creating Moral Spaces
Ann B. Hamric and Lucia D. Wocial

Creating a Culture of Ethical Practice in Health Care Delivery Systems
Cynda Hylton Rushton

From the Team to the Table: Nursing Societies and Health Care Organizational Ethics
Clareen Wiencek, Ramón Lavandero and Nancy Berlinger

Emergency Nursing, Ebola, and Public Policy: The Contributions of Nursing to the Public Policy Conversation
Lisa Wolf, Connie M. Ulrich and Christine Grady

Transitional Care: A Priority for Health Care Organizational Ethics
Mary Naylor and Nancy Berlinger

The Nurse as the Patient’s Advocate: A Contrarian View
Sarah E. Shannon

Promoting the Health of Families and Communities: A Moral Imperative
Diana J. Mason