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An Ethics Resource for Nurses



The New England Research Institutes (NERI) in Watertown MA has received an award from the National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health to develop and test web-based continuing education programs on nursing ethics. Sharon Tennstedt Ph.D., RN is the Principal Investigator of this project. The NURSING ETHICS NETWORK (NEN) will collaborate with NERI in the development and evaluation of these programs.
Program content will be oriented toward nurses in clinical practice. The first phase of the project involves the development and evaluation of one CE module. Please see the accompanying announcement if you are interested in participating in this evaluation study.

NERI Receives Award

The National Institute of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health has funded the development of a web-based continuing education program in nursing ethics. The program is being developed by the New England Research Institutes in collaboration with the Nursing Ethics Network.

The complexity and frequency of ethical issues in today's healthcare system have risen dramatically. Many of these ethical issues occur when the nurse is an advocate for the rights of patients and their families. More than any other professional group, nurses are expected to assume an advocacy role for patients and their families in all aspects of patient care. But, as research has demonstrated, many RNs do not feel well-prepared to be an effective patient care advocate.

Web-based continuing education programs in nursing ethics can assist nurses to be prepared. The course we are developing will use interactive text and case studies to help nurses analyze commonly experienced ethical issues. Completing the course will help nurses develop increased confidence to deal with difficult ethical issues in practice. The web-based program will be convenient to use as it will be accessible by an internet connection from work or home.

The first module, concerning the nurse's advocacy role in end of life treatment decisions, will be available in January 2001. Before we continue development of all the modules, we would like to thoroughly evaluate this first module. We are looking for registered nurses in active clinical practice to participate in this evaluation.

The evaluation can be done at your convenience. Reviewing the module may take one full hour. However, because it is available online, it can be viewed in 15 or even 5 minute increments. In other words, you can study the module for 10 minutes, turn off your computer and come back for more, until you have completed the module. You will then be asked questions about the module to complete the evaluation. Contact hours for successfully completing the module are pending.

Your feedback will help us to create effective web-based CEU programs in nursing ethics for registered nurses.

To sign up now, send an email to:

Please give us your name and an email address (one that you check often), and we will email you when the module is available for use. Your email will be used for this project only and will not be given to any other source; in addition, we will send email to you very infrequently.

Please feel free to forward this message to other registered nurses who may be interested in participating in this project.

Sarah Currier, PhD, RNC, NNP
Associate Research Scientist
New England Research Institutes
9 Galen St.
Watertown, MA 02472

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