To describe the ethical activity profile of nurse managers (NM).Background
Ethical responsibilities require nurse managers to perform certain ethical activities. In this study, these activities are referred to as an ethical activity profile and are divided into five dimensions: (1) developing one's own ethics knowledge, (2) influencing ethical issues, (3) conducting or implementing ethics research, (4) identifying and (5) solving ethical problems. This paper focuses on the first four dimensions.Methods
Survey data were collected in 2011 using a questionnaire (mainly open questions) amongst managers at the ward, middle and strategic levels (n = 122). The data were analysed using inductive content analysis and quantification.Results
The ethical activity profile of nurse managers was high, referring to the identification of various work-related ethical problems [related to staff (31%), the nurse managers themselves (29%), resources (17%), patients (12%), superiors (7%) and organisations (4%)]. However, developing one's own ethics knowledge, influencing ethical issues and conducting or implementing research dimensions of the ethical activity profile were low.Conclusions
There is room to improve the ethical activity profile of nurse managers.Implications for nursing management
Organisations have to demand that nurse managers meet all their ethical responsibilities and support this via organisational structures.