Reflections on Self in Relation to Other: Core Community Values of a Moral/Ethical Foundation

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One of the first steps toward reaffirming the core community values of nursing as we see, feel, hear, and acknowledge them is the awareness of a moral/ethical foundation that preserves, promotes, and protects human dignity. This foundation serves as a starting point and evolutionary path for education, research, and practice (Watson, 2008). Nursing-specific malignancies of compassion fatigue, burnout, moral distress, and nurse-to-nurse bullying can metastasize throughout nursing communities in which caring environments are not nourished as priorities and starting points for being, doing, knowing, and belonging. An understanding that we all participate in holographic membership results in an ethical display of moral empathy, so that the complexities of nursing can be articulated and validated in safe environments. In addition, preparing for our deaths in a way that celebrates and honors life may potentially lead to peaceful relationships with self, other, and the community as a whole. The nature of such a community implies that nurses are invested in ensuring the integrity of the human experience, will serve as advocates of ethical/moral engagement, and are the embodiment of the sacred, if we so choose to honor it.

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