To analyze the concept of courage and determine its relevance for the present-day context of nursing.Methods:
Using techniques of pragmatic utility, a systematic review of the literature was conducted using 18 articles and books from the nursing literature. Analytical questions were developed to guide the data synthesis.Results:
Despite fear for self and others, courage in nursing is usually presented as ethical-moral “risk-taking” action(s) with the intent to ensure safe patient care.Conclusions:
The concept of courage is germane to nursing and provides a unique aspect of nursing care, not fully incorporated into “care,” “compassion,” or the caring sciences. Apart from its linkage toward a moral ethic, courage is not presently used in nursing theory. We recommend incorporating this traditional concept into nursing theory, research, and practice.Clinical Relevance:
Developing courage in novice professionals and stre-ngthening courage in practitioners can not only improve professional integrity, but also improve patient safety.