Nurses’ perception of ethical climate at a large academic medical center

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Abstract

Background:

Nurses are confronted daily with ethical issues while providing patient care. Hospital ethical climates can affect nurses’ job satisfaction, organizational commitment, retention, and physician collaboration.

Purpose:

At a metropolitan academic medical center, we examined nurses’ perceptions of the ethical climate and relationships among ethical climate factors and nurse characteristics.

Design/participants:

We used a descriptive correlational design and nurses (N = 475) completed Olson’s Hospital Ethical Climate Survey. Data were analyzed using STATA.

Ethical considerations:

Approvals by the Nursing Research Council and Institutional Review Board were obtained; participants’ rights were protected.

Results:

Nurses reported an ethical climate total mean score of 3.22 ± 0.65 that varied across factors; significant differences were found for ethical climate scores by nurses’ age, race, and specialty area.

Conclusion:

These findings contribute to what is known about ethical climate and nurses’ characteristics and provides the foundation to develop strategies to improve the ethical climate in work settings.

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