Cover image for: How Nurses Talk About Ethics
CPD50m of CPD
Total Rating(s)4
First Published
Updated10 July 2018
Expires 10 January 2019

Course Overview

This Video Learning Activity will review the evolution of modern nursing ethics through discussing how nurses approach ethically-challenging decisions in their clinical practice. The emergence of moral principles and professional codes will be explored in order to understand the relationship of ethics and law to the everyday clinical environment.

Topics include:

  • The evolution of modern nursing ethics
  • Consequence and duty: their relationship to modern nursing practice
  • The emergence of moral principles
  • Professional codes
  • The relationship between ethics and law
  • An introduction to practical ethics

Target audience

All nurses and midwives in all areas of nursing and midwifery practice.


To provide an overview of the language and theory of nursing ethics as it is used in contemporary debate.


Ethics has a very distinct language of its own, and nursing has embraced and adapted this as part of its own unique discourse. However, ethical theory can be both complex and abstract, and in order for discourse to occur, it is essential that nurses understand the core elements of ethical language as it is applied to everyday practice.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.

Learning Outcomes
  • Describe the origins of contemporary nursing ethics
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of single principle and multiple principle ethical theories
  • Explain the origin and purpose of professional codes of ethics
  • Describe the relationship between ethics and the law

The presenter and all members of the planning team have disclosed that they have no relevant financial commercial relationships to products or devices related to the content of this educational activity. Wherever possible, generic or non-proprietary names of medication have been used. Courses include expert peer reviews of the content where applicable.

  • Video Recording Completed: 01/05/2012
  • Video Recording Location: Tasmania, Australia
  • Course First Published: 31/05/2012
  • Course Reviewed: July 2018
  • Course Republished: 11/07/2018
  • Course Expiry Date: 11/01/2019
  • Corrections / changes made: 06/07/2018
    • Small edits made to align video with current Ausmed practices

This CPD/CNE activity will expire on 11/01/2019 after which CPD/CNE hours will not be valid.


Portrait of Darren Wake
Darren Wake

Peripatetic and always intellectually restless, Darren Wake has pursued varied careers in journalism, media production, academic philosophy and nursing. As a nurse, he worked in the speciality areas of critical care, community care, remote area healthcare and education. As a formally qualified academic philosopher Darren taught undergraduate units in law and ethics in healthcare, although his principle research focus revolved around logic and the philosophy of language. Darren’s media production output can be found scattered about the Ausmed website and in his long forgotten days as a word monkey, he wrote for European publications such as The Scotsman, The Great Outdoors, Country Walking and The Times. In 2014 Darren consulted to the Department of Health for the development of Consumer Directed Care policy and guidelines for remote area communities in the Northern Territory. These days he is the managing editor of a small independent publishing company based in the United Kingdom, and lives in Tasmania. In his spare time, Darren is currently studying a formal course in celestial navigation, just in case the inevitable zombie apocalypse messes with the world’s GPS satellite system. See Educator Profile

CPD50m of CPD
Total Rating(s)4
First Published
Updated10 July 2018
Expires 10 January 2019
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Learner Reviews

4 Total Rating(s)
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Brearne Barnes
03 Jan 2019

Ethics is a tough subject to make interesting but this resource was just the right length and amount of information to keep me engaged.

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Zoe Youl
11 Dec 2018

A great revision

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Esther Zoe Nunn
18 Sep 2018

Excellent thankyou. Ethics is so often overlooked at how fundamentally important it is in our role as nurses.

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Lap San Howitt
10 Aug 2018

All the 21st century nurses should learn more about ethics. The current banking inquiry reinforces the need for ethics education to all leaders, professionals and general public indeed. If our children are are learning it from school, we should not be left behind.

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Leah Smith
29 Jul 2018

An interesting discussion and explanation of ethics. A small issue with outdated information eg our new Code of Conduct and no Code of Professional Conduct. That NMBA has now adopted the ICN Code of Ethics.

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Patricia Sullivan
26 Jul 2018

well presented

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Maria Nothling
15 Jul 2018