How to write a nursing essay on ethical principal application (Solved)

How to write a nursing essay on ethical principal application (Solved)

Ethics in healthcare, also referred to as bioethics, applies in all healthcare settings. The four basic principles commonly used are autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice.

Autonomy is the patient’s ability to make a decision themselves. Respecting the principle of autonomy requires healthcare providers to tell patients the truth regarding their health status and the risks and benefits of treatments to make informed decisions. They can also rightfully decline treatment even if it’s the most beneficial (Haddad & Geiger, 2018).

The principle of beneficence requires the healthcare provider to provide care in the patient’s best interest. The healthcare provider’s actions are specifically designed to achieve positive outcomes. Haddad and Geiger (2018) state that a beneficent decision is deemed objective if different healthcare providers would make the same decision.

The principle of nonmaleficence implies no harm. Healthcare providers must ascertain that their actions do not harm the patient through commission or omission (Haddad & Geiger, 2018). Ultimately, these actions are considered ‘right’ if they are in the patient’s interest and are not associated with adverse effects.

The principle of justice implies fairness and equity in administering treatment. Distributive justice refers to how healthcare services are administered equitably throughout society (Haddad & Geiger, 2018). Comparative justice implies the healthcare services delivered at an individual level (Haddad & Geiger, 2018). Healthcare providers should not administer treatment unequally to patients based on Racal, ethnic, gender, religious or age differences.

How I would respond to the scenario

As a nurse, it’s my legal responsibility to advocate for my patients and ensure their wishes are followed, particularly their end-of-life wishes. In this scenario, a dying man’s wish is that he sees his mistress for the last time without his wife finding out. This move would not be fair to his wife. However, as a professional, I should respect the patient’s wishes and, at the same time, be truthful with them; thus, I cannot lie to the wife to cover up the husband. In this scenario, the patient’s wishes will be going against my ethical and moral principles. I would, therefore, decline to be part of Mr Newcomb’s scheme since it is his business. I would let him know that I respect his wishes and that it would not be professionally okay for me to be involved in his business. I would also explain to him that he has the right to decide what information to share with his spouse without my influence and that he should be aware of the consequences of his actions. This step would also save me from lying to his wife about his plan. Executing his plan would be entirely up to him without my involvement. However, I would continue treating him with respect and justice without judgment.

How I applied ethical principles in the scenario

In applying the principle of autonomy, I would let Mr Newcomb know that the decision to see his mistress and not let his wife know is entirely up to him, without my involvement. This is his personal affair, and thus I do not have the right to get involved as a professional.

Second, in applying the principle of beneficence, I would implement the tasks in the patient’s best interest. While Mr Newcomb’s wish to see his mistress would make him happy, it might negatively affect his wife. I would not help him execute this action but advise him on the consequences so that he’s fully aware of the implications when he decides to go ahead with his plan.

Third, the principle of nonmaleficence requires that I do not harm. I would make sure that my decision does not cause harm to the patient or those close to him. The scenario presents a dilemma in which the action of allowing Mr Newcomb to see his mistress would make him happy but might bring about negative consequences to his wife. I would handle it professionally by declining involvement in the patient’s business and letting him know the implications of his actions.

I would apply the principle of justice in administering treatment to Mr Newcomb fairly, despite knowing his infidelity and his plans to see his mistress behind his wife’s back. I would still treat him with dignity and respect as other patients.

How personal beliefs and values influenced my response

I value honesty, integrity and work ethics. My values and beliefs did not allow me to help the patient execute his plan of seeing his mistress secretly and lying to his wife. Since I value work ethics, I uphold ethical principles to high standards. I would not involve myself in a patient’s personal affairs, especially when it compromises my personal and professional standards.

Strategies to promote self-care

The importance of self-care in nursing is unquestionable. With a high patient workload, long shifts, and a demanding work environment, one can get overwhelmed physically, mentally and emotionally. Neglecting self-care can lead to serious adverse effects such as unhealthy lifestyles, depression and musculoskeletal disorders. Self-care in nursing is essential as it reenergizes an individual to care for patients holistically. There are various ways through which nurses can care for themselves conveniently, even during their shifts.

Mental self-care contributes to nurses’ intellectual development and mental stability. Expanding or gaining knowledge in new areas helps nurses gain a new perspective on things beyond their profession and enhance their confidence in caring for their patients. Mental self-care is achieved through precepting a new employee, reading journal articles, trying new hobbies, playing games, and listening to audiobooks (Kelbach, 2022).

Even though nursing is a physical career, physical activity does not count as recommended by reliable guidelines. Physical activity is a significant part of self-care. The CDC recommends two and a half hours a day of moderate physical activity like brisk walking. It also recommends 150 minutes of vigorous physical activity, such as aerobics, per week (CDC, 2022). While it may be challenging for nurses to accomplish this with tight work schedules and burnout, various strategies help achieve the physical activity. One can park their car far away from the hospital building to have time to walk to work. Also, nurses can use the stairs instead of the elevator (Kelbach, 2022). Lastly, instead of ordering take-out food, one can carry their own healthy packed lunch and snacks.

Emotionally, nurses experience a roller coaster of emotions when dealing with different patients throughout the day. Losing a patient despite putting in the best efforts or a patient with whom a nurse had built a warm relationship can be overwhelming and affect work performance (Kelbach, 2022). Having an outlet to express emotions is critical to maintaining a stable emotional and mental well-being. Nurses can have light conversations with their colleagues and include humour at work. They can also be kind to everyone and do enjoyable activities during breaks, such as walking outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight and watching funny video clips. Also, saying words of affirmation regularly helps maintain a stable emotional state.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2022). Physical Activity. Retrieved from,Physical%20Activity%20Guidelines%20for%20Americans%20.&text=We%20know%20150%20minutes%20pf,do%20it%20all%20at%20once.

Haddad, L. M., & Geiger, R. A. (2018). Nursing ethical considerations.

Kelbach J. (2022). The Ultimate Guide o Self-Care for Nurses. Registered Nursing. Retrieved from

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