On being a good nurse: reflections on the past and preparing for the future

Ann Begley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

On being a good nurse: reflections on the past and preparing for the future. The objectives of this paper include reflecting on the attributes of the ‘good’ nurse in the past, outlining thematically the essential attributes (virtues) required by the ‘good’ nurse today and presenting an original four- point framework for ethics in practice. While there is no doubt that nurses in the past were highly professional, the culture within which they practiced tended to stifle the emergence of autonomy, assertiveness, advocacy and accountability. An original table of contemporary attributes, which is congruent with a neo Aristotelian virtue ethical approach, is arranged in themes of Intellectual and Practical Attributes, Dispositional Attributes and Moral Attributes. A framework for professional practice, the ‘Four As’ is then extrapolated from these themes. These four key professional attributes, autonomy, advocacy, accountability and assertiveness, along with the virtues listed in the themes, exemplify the ‘good’ nurse and are identified as the linchpins of modern professional ethics and good conduct.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-532
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Nursing Practice
Volume16
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)

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