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OJIN is a peer-reviewed, online publication that addresses current topics affecting nursing practice, research, education, and the wider health care sector.

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Ethics Column: Overview and Summary

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Ruth Ludwick, PhD, RN, C, Ethics Column Coordinator
Mary Cipriano Silva, PhD, RN, FAAN, Ethics Consultant

Keywords: Serial publications, ethics, nurses, nursing

Practicing ethically, whether we are clinicians, educators, administrators, policy makers, theorists, or researchers, demands constant vigilance and reflective analyses. As we face scarcities in resources, changes in technology, evolution of diseases, differences in practice arenas, changes in communication, updates in professional standards, new laws, diversity in clients, globalization, and more informed consumers, ethical practice must be the foundation we hold constant in nursing. Therefore, as we move into the 21st century and embark on a "new frontier" for nursing, the OJIN editorial board has determined that as new topics in OJIN are introduced we should begin discussions that anticipate new ethical issues and re-examine familiar ones.

OJIN's format, which is topic-based and focused on examining issues that have many sides, is conducive to this proactive approach to ethics. Our goals for this column are to:

  1. raise awareness of ethical issues for nurses across settings, specialties, and nationalities;
  2. inform readers about critical issues in ethics;
  3. encourage ethical thoughtfulness about ethical dilemmas that nurses face; and
  4. initiate commentary and responses from a variety of nurses globally.

Because ethics is best understood, discussed and informed from issues confronting us in everyday practice, we hope readers who are clinicians, educators, administrators, policy makers, theorists, or researchers will actively participate in this column by submitting commentary and/or examples of ethical dilemmas faced. Our credibility, strength, and legacy as a profession will be measured by our ethical treatment of patients, families and communities. Let us examine how nurses make a difference ethically.


© 1999 Online Journal of Issues in Nursing
Published July 2, 1999

Silva, Mary Cipriano and Ludwick, Ruth. (July 2, 1999). Overview and Summary: Ethics. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing. Available http://www.nursingworld.org/ojin


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