Date of Graduation

Spring 5-17-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing and Health Professions




Executive Leader DNP

First Advisor

Dr Brian Budds

Second Advisor

Dr Timothy Godfrey


Nurses interacting with patients and family members need support when the course of the patient’s care becomes uncertain or conflicted leading to ethical concerns. Educating nurses about the purpose of the Hospital Ethics Committees (HEC) may support nurses with ethical concerns, alleviate moral distress and improve job satisfaction. Utilizing the HEC for ethically challenging care situations enhances the professional practice and supports the code of ethics for nurses. HECs which are often underutilized can provide valuable resources for nurses. This DNP project sought to increase the number of nurses’ ethics consultations to the HEC after providing ethics education using a humanistic teaching framework. Education focused on nurses’ experiences with ethical concerns and availability of the HEC. Findings revealed an increase in nurse requested consultations to the HEC. Nurse engagement with the HEC could be enhanced with increased nurse membership on HECs, opportunities for debriefings after ethically challenging cases and increased interactions with bioethicists.

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Other Nursing Commons