Assessment of Moral Courage throughout the BSN Curriculum

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Misty L. Southerland, AA (HlthSc), EMT-I
Ronald S. Golemboski, AS
School of Nursing, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL, USA

Moral courage is lacking in students that are currently going through various college curriculums.  The objective of this research is to bring awareness to the fact that students view academic dishonesty as normal and acceptable but not necessarily ethical (Balik, Sharon, Tabak, 2010).  The focus is on the nursing program because the same study indicated that there is usually a correlation between bad student behavior and bad nursing practices (Balik, Sharon, Tabak, 2010).  A separate study concluded that there is a higher rate of cheating and dishonesty among nursing students than any other discipline (McCabe, 2009).  To accomplish our objective we will administer a 30 item questionnaire via online Survey Monkey website.  This questionnaire will be administered to pre-nursing, BSN, and MSN students.  The questionnaire will be used to assess whether the factors of gender, age, ethnicity, or upbringing correlate to an individual’s aptitude to exhibit moral courage.  Nursing students will be asked to volunteer and required to read and provide consent prior to participation within the study.  The data will be compiled and analyzed to assess which factors, if any, influence moral courage.  Our results will be available for presentation at the biennial conference.  We hope to identify potential factors that could compromise a student’s moral courage and thus their ability to exhibit integrity in the healthcare arena.  The findings could also bring awareness to nursing faculty about individual factors that could influence appropriate student behavior.  Ultimately, we would like to begin to determine if implementing a moral courage curriculum will affect outcomes once students transition to the workforce.


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