National League of NursingNational League of Nursing

The Voice of Nursing Education

Ethics in Nursing Education: Tools for Cultivating Ethical Competence in Learners

Row of old books on philosophy and ethics

What is the benefit of this course?

In our modern society, teaching ethics to nursing students is more crucial than ever. Nurses need a moral sensitivity toward the widening diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences among patients and their nursing colleagues. They must consider the impact of their actions or inaction in health care situations. Nurse educators in academic and clinical settings also must explore their own understanding of perception and professional responsibilities to effectively teach ethics and moral behavior to the next generation of nurses.


Ethics in Nursing Education: Tools for Cultivating Ethical Competence in Learners is a groundbreaking learning course developed in partnership by the American Nurses Association, the largest nursing association in the United States, and the National League for Nursing, the leading association for nurse educators.


This eight-module course explores ethics in research, administration, and nursing practice using Rest’s model for ethical decision making as it seeks to guide the integration of ethics into curricula to reflect education and accreditation standards, the nursing Code of Ethics, and the state of nursing in our current health care system.


Featuring speakers from both ANA and the NLN with expertise in ethics in nursing education, diversity & inclusion, societal factors, and the intersection of ethics and the law, Ethics in Nursing Education equips nurse educators with essential skills to prepare a more principled and effectual nursing workforce for the 21st century.


Overview of Course

Session I: Forging a New Collaboration

Meet with the ANA Enterprise CEO and President and CEO of the NLN to hear their vision of our collaborative future. Explore the how and the why of these sessions focused on enabling you to increase your comfort and skill by integrating ethics seamlessly into your curricula.

Social and Structural Determinants of Health, Structural Racism & Health Equity

Supporting nurse educators in broadening their understanding of structural and social determinants of health and their relationship to health equity allows educators to foster deep understanding in their learners. This session will explore race, racism, and applications that range from personal to systemic to build a shared vocabulary in the discussions of health equity.

Session II: Setting the Stage: Outlining the Territory of Nursing Ethics 

As educators, we are challenged to weave ethics into our courses to reflect education and accreditation standards, our Code of Ethics, and the current state of nursing in our health care system. This session will explore the taxonomies and labels we use in nursing ethics, provide rationale for the intentional inclusion of ethics content across the curriculum using Rest’s four-component model as a framework, and set the stage for the faculty training embedded in each session of this workshop. Context for nursing practice includes micro and macro environment of health care, which engages legal and policy dimensions and the social and structural determinants of health.

Session III: Moral Sensitivity: Awareness of My Responsibility Recognizing an Issue

The process of moral sensitivity is dependent on nurses’ awareness and identification of ethical content in everyday practice. Development of moral sensitivity requires perspective-taking skills and the ability to consider the impact of nurses’ action or inaction. This session will start by exploring how we, as nurse educators, can expand our own understanding of perception and professional responsibilities. Then we will bridge to consider how to embed meaningful activities in your courses, such as facilitated discussion and role play that are designed to increase awareness and cultivate moral sensitivity in your students.

Session IV: Moral Judgment and Reasoning: Using Clinical Judgment and Moral Reasoning to Address an Issue

Moral judgment, which directly informs clinical judgment, requires knowledge of ethical principles, situational and contextual awareness, a person- or population-centered focus, and intentionality. The development of clinical and moral judgment is not an event – it is a process that is fostered by introducing structured ways of thinking (models), scenarios that require action, and reflection. This session will focus on how to use moral decision-making models, simulation, and civil discourse to support the development of moral judgment and reasoning skills in your students.

Session VMoral Motivation and Focus: Integrating the Moral Self with Professional Expectations

The integration of personal and professional values, the prioritization of values, and maintaining responsibility for our actions requires balancing personal risk with professional responsibility. As nurse educators, we are positioned to set the climate in the didactic and clinical settings with students and provide a safe and brave space for the exploration of differing values and the nuances inherent in moral focus. This session will identify how to leverage your slides and frame content to acknowledge inequities and disparities in the context of the social and structural determinants of health, discuss our language and the need for accuracy and terms that foster belonging, and explore students’ creative sides in using visual thinking strategies to increase students’ moral motivation and focus.

Session VIMoral Character: Acting as a Moral Agent- Implementing the Best Action

Ethical comportment requires more than consideration – it requires action. Goal identification, implementation and evaluation of a plan, consideration of habits, and the articulation of professional identify formation are facets of moral character. This session will consider videos, articles and professional development in the context of developing students as moral agents who represent the profession of nursing.

Session VIITying Together the Ethical Landscape: When, Where, and How to Begin

Balancing competence and confidence in our students and in ourselves remains a challenge. This workshop was designed to provide you with space to consider some concrete exemplars of how to integrate ethics and moral development in your courses. This specific session will review the evolving case that we presented in the four middle sessions and articulate how to begin and thrive as an advocate, cheerleader and mentor for your students on their journey of professional moral development. Policy and ethics are inextricably intertwined and can affect both patient care and ethical decisions. This session will reinforce the relationship between ethics, social and structural determinants of health, and policy.

Session VIIIThe Venn Diagram of Legal and Ethical

If something is ethical, then isn’t it legal? Or if something is legal, isn’t it also ethical? The interaction between law and ethics can present conflicts at times. This session, presented by two nurse-attorneys, focuses on the interaction between ethics and law and explores the issues that evolve when commonly held ethical principles are in direct conflict with the law, and vice versa.


What you will learn

Learners should expect to:

1. Gain an understanding of structural racism as foundational to ethical analysis yet the missing piece in nursing education.

2. Relate the four goals of nursing and a nursing perspective to ethical nursing practice.                                       

3. Describe and define a plan for integration of specific teaching-learning strategies into new and existing courses.                              

4. Articulate the goals of an educator as facilitator, advocate, and mentor with respect to students’ journey of professional moral development. 

5. Identify the Venn Diagram of the relationship between law and ethics.

How it works

  • Course Length

    8 hours

  • Instruction

    Online, Self paced

  • Cost

    $249 - Non-members | $224.10 - Members

  • CEU

    0.8 CEUs / 8 Contact Hours


Who is this course intended for?

This eight-session program focuses on a streamlined format for integrating ethics education and cultivating ethical competence, with a specific emphasis on teaching nurse educators how to facilitate ethics education using specific deliverables that they may tailor to their specific student groups.

What are the course expectations and progression?

This course is self-paced. 

What kind of technology is required?

Learners will need access to a computer, tablet, or smart phone to complete the course.


There will be no cancellations, returns, or exchanges.  No exceptions.  

Price: $249.00