Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Linda Davisson

Second Advisor

Rosalie E. Tuttle

Third Advisor

Jeffrey S. Williamson

Scholarship Domain(s)

Scholarship of Discovery, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


Nursing educators are expected to prepare students to practice in a complex health care environment yet nursing curriculums vary in how the ethical reasoning ability of students is developed. To effectively manage clinical situations that have ethical implications, practitioners need to be able to recognizing these situations and have the ability to take action. Using an established instrument known as Ketefian’s Judgments About Nursing Decisions (JAND) to survey nursing students, this study examined the relationship between knowledge of the Code of Ethics for Nurses to choices of action in senior nursing students in baccalaureate nursing programs enrolled in the last semester of classes before graduating. The research process also included exploration of individual characteristics of the students to determine what impact, if any, these had on the relationship between knowledge and choice of action. There was a positive, significant, correlation between knowledge and action in senior baccalaureate nursing students. There was no significant difference in this relationship as a result of education or experience within the student group but a large discrepancy in the numbers of participants in each group may have impacted this finding. Thus college credit in courses on ethics, previous experience with making health care decisions, and general experience in health care did not significantly impact this relationship, but did indicate a need for further research.


Ed.D. dissertation completed in 2015 for Olivet Nazarene University.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.