Discourses of Social Justice: Examining the Ethics of Democratic Professionalism in Nursing

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Abstract

This essay provides a critical exploration of discourses of social justice in nursing. It examines commitments to social justice in the work of international nursing scholars and in professional codes of ethics in international nursing organizations. The analysis touches on salient conversations in philosophy, relating these ways of knowing to social justice as an ethical pattern in nursing practice. On the basis of this analysis, the discussion explores questions of professional formation in nursing, noticing when commitments to social justice are taken up or evaded in different models of professionalism. In concluding comments, implications of democratic professionalism are explored for professional formation in nursing, arguing for teaching, learning, and knowledge projects that contribute to social justice in our democracy.

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