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1.The far-reaching consequences can be the results of unethical behaviors both in a nursing master’s program and in the nursing practice. This applies both to the involved individuals and the healthcare system as a whole. This discussion aims at comparing and examining the consequences of unethical behavior with one example for each case (setting).
Unethical Behavior in a Nursing Master’s Program
Example: Plagiarism in a Nursing Research Assignment
Impact on Future Nursing Practice: In a Master’s program, if unethical behavior goes undetected, it can lead to long-lasting consequences on the future practice of a nurse. There is an expectation of nurses to provide evidence-based care and uphold high ethical standards. Amal et al. (2022), state that in case a nurse has not learned how important it is to observe ethical conduct during their education, they may jeopardize the safety of patients because of ethical violations in their clinical practice.
Loss of Profession and Trust: Trust among faculty members and peers is eroded by ethical lapses like plagiarism (Amal et al., 2022). In the field of nursing where nurses collaborate closely with colleagues, trust is paramount. This is because they depend on accurate information to make providence of effective and safe patient care. Professional relationships may be impacted by loss of trust in an educational setting, hindering the networking opportunities.
Academic Consequences: According to Amal et al. (2022), in any educational setting, plagiarism is a severe ethical breach, including nursing Master’s programs. The integrity of a student’s education is undermined when the student engages in plagiarism. Academic penalties like failing assignments or expulsion from the program can be the results of plagiarism in many institutions. The academic reputation of a student can be damaged as well as the progress.
Unethical Behavior in Nursing Practice
Example: Medication Theft by a Registered Nurse
Ethical and Legal Repercussions: Severe legal consequences can be the results of engaging in unethical behavior in nursing practice, like theft. According to Ahtisham et al. (2020), the nurses who are found guilty of such actions can face civil lawsuits, loss of their nursing license, and face criminal charges. The difficulty in finding future employment in the healthcare field can be the lasting professional and personal consequences that these legal and ethical repercussions can have (Ahtisham et al., 2020).
Patient Safety: Medication theft, which is an unethical behavior in nursing practice, can endanger patient safety in a direct manner. Medication errors, delayed treatment, and incorrect dosages can be the results when a nurse steals medications meant for patients (Ahtisham et al., 2020). These errors can lead to patient harm, including worsening conditions, adverse reactions, or even death.
Damage to the Nursing Profession: The entire nursing profession of a nurse is negatively reflected by unethical behavior. The reputation of the profession as a whole can be tarnished alongside loss of trust in nurses by patients and their families. The end result of this can be reduced willingness by people to follow medical advice or seek healthcare services, which has societal implications that are broader for public health – Ahtisham et al. (2020).
In summary, serious consequences can be the results of unethical behavior in both nursing practice and nursing Master’s programs. In the educational setting, it can damage future professional success and hinder academic progress. In the clinical setting, it directly impacts the overall reputation of the nursing profession, legal standing, and patient safety. Therefore, for the well-being of both students and patients, it is essential to address and prevent unethical behavior since ethical conduct and integrity are fundamental to nursing.
2. Ethics is an essential element of nursing education. In most cases, ethical standards in nursing ensure that nursing faculties are guided by provided clinical and accreditation standards and regulations to guarantee quality education for nursing students in line with nursing practice competency. In practice, nurses also rely on ethical guidelines to make difficult decisions and decide on dilemmas.
In the nursing Master’s program, one unethical behavior can be the falsification of research data. Falsification of research data refers to the action of making up false data to be used in a student’s research project (Bassey & Owan, 2019). In most cases, student’s research projects are based on real research scenarios and can be used in nursing practice. This implies that the research should be conducted with utmost honesty using real data from real clinical scenarios. However, when such data is fake, the integrity and results of the project are undermined. This creates room for inaccurate results, which also undermines the credibility of the master’s program. Also, suppose the project is published, its application in the health sector can be quite detrimental to public health and to the research community’s goal of safe care for all. Thus, it is crucial for nursing programs to keenly monitor students to engage them in a practical manner whereby they can see the essence of conducting credible research and not using falsified data.
In nursing practice, one unethical behavior can be a situation where nurses’ personal beliefs interfere with their ability to care for their patients (Kwame & Petrucka, 2021). Although nurses can decline to take part in the care of patients when their religious beliefs are conflicted, they cannot refuse to care for such patients from discrimination. For example, when presented with patients who abuse drugs or alcohol, some nurses can feel morally upset, but this should not be the grounds for declining to care for such patients. In most cases, nurses who feel affected may object to such care. However, they can always make arrangements with their supervisors and coworkers to ensure such patients receive the care they need. The most significant consequence of this is that the patients may not receive the necessary care, and this may compromise their ability to recover from the illness. In other cases, the conflict of beliefs may also compromise patient education, whereby the nurse will provide inadequate information regarding personal care and the recovery process for the patient, thus ensuring misinformation on the patient’s side.
In conclusion, ethics is essential in nursing programs and practice since it provides guidelines and standards of practice to ensure patient care is effective. However, without regard to ethical standards, the care of patients may be gravely compromised. Nursing programs should monitor students to ensure they follow acceptable standards as this will provide room for better clinical practice.
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