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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Navigating Towards a Moral Horizon: A Multisite Qualitative Study of Ethical Practice in Nursing
Other Titles: Vers un horizon déontologique: une étude qualitative multicontextuelle des pratiques déontologiques au sein de la profession infirmière
Author(s): Rodney, Patricia
Varcoe, Colleen
Storch, Janet L
McPherson, Gladys
Mahoney, Karen
Brown, Helen
Pauly, Bernadette
Hartrick, Gwen
Starzomski, Rosalie
Issue Date: 2002
Citation: Rodney P, Varcoe C, Storch JL, McPherson G, Mahoney K, Brown H, Pauly B, Hartrick G & Starzomski R (2002) Navigating Towards a Moral Horizon: A Multisite Qualitative Study of Ethical Practice in Nursing, Canadian Journal of Nursing Research, 34 (3), pp. 75-102.
Abstract: This paper reports the results of a qualitative study of nurses' ethical decision-making. Focus groups of nurses in diverse practice contexts were used as a means to explore the meaning of ethics and the enactment of ethical practice. The findings centre on the metaphor of a moral horizon - the horizon representing "the good" towards which the nurses were navigating. The findings suggest that currents within the moral climate of nurses' work significantly influence nurses' progress towards their moral horizon. All too often, the nurses found themselves navigating against a current characterized by the privileging of biomedicine and a corporate ethos. Conversely, a current of supportive colleagues as well as professional guidelines and standards and ethics education helped them to move towards their horizon. The implications for nursing practice and for our understanding of ethical decision-making are discussed.
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (

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