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According to recent nursing literature, virtue ethics is regaining attention as a way to establish a comprehensive nursing ethical model, which will appropriately reflect actual nursing. This study explored the characteristics of “the good nurse” as an ethical ideal from Japanese patients' perspectives. The findings described the good nurse for Japanese nursing care recipients and delineated their expectations of her or him. For Japanese patients, the good nurse was a person with personal involvement and professional comportment. The study revealed the participants' perspectives of the importance of person-to-person relationships between nurses and patients, and of nurses' professional disposition and competency.