Health Care Ethics: A Theological Perspective

Nurses are motivated to serve others for a variety of personal and spiritual reasons. The responsibility to care for the sick and wounded, and the ethical considerations of this care, is not something to be taken lightly when deciding to become a nurse.

Why Do We Serve Others?

There are over 2.5 million working registered nurses nationwide - a number which is rapidly growing. Demand for health care workers is great, average salaries are high, and the job outlook for the foreseeable future promises enduring careers.

But for many nurses, employment security is just one factor in the decision to become involved in the robust, rewarding field of health care. Outlined below are some of the other reasons people are attracted to the nursing profession.

Ethics

The Florence Nightingale Pledgeis anchored in the Catholic value of respect life over all other earthly considerations. Nurses vow to imbue their practice with the highest ethical standards, refrain from taking any action to harm an individual, and refuse to take a life under any circumstances.

Responsibility to Serve

Many health care practitioners see care-giving as a sacred responsibility, a way in which they can work to increase the well-being of their fellow human beings. Entering the health care field is a natural extension of the desire to act on this spiritual responsibility to others, providing a platform from which each caregiver can do the greatest good.

Personal Fulfillment

Nurses, perhaps more so than any other profession in health care, are directly involved in the day-to-day care of their patients. The real human interaction can be incredibly fulfilling for nurses, who are uniquely positioned to witness the positive effects of their ministrations and care.

How Can We Deepen Our Theological Understanding of Health Care?

Nurses who wish to deepen their understanding of ethics in health care and gain the knowledge and perspective with which to practice these ethics may consider an online nursing degree at the bachelor level, which can help to provide an ethical roadmap through the realities of health care today.

The online RN-BSN program at the University of Saint Mary program offers students increased knowledge and nursing competencies to compete in today's workforce. A USM education is steeped in the Catholic values of ethics, responsibility, service, justice and compassion. In addition to the depth of nursing knowledge and experience this program provides, Sister Simone Roach's five Cs of caring (commitment, conscience, competence, compassion, and confidence) are woven throughout the program. Plus, online courses can be completed when it works best for each individual student.

With an online nursing degree from an accredited university and a solid background in the moral and ethical issues of care-giving, graduates will enter the workplace or continue in their nursing careers equipped to handle difficult situations and provide the highest quality of care.