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Moral courage is one of the most fundamental virtues in the nursing profession, however, little attention has been paid to it. As a result, no exact and clear definition of moral courage has ever been accessible.This study is carried out for the purposes of defining and clarifying its concept in the nursing profession.This study used a hybrid model of concept analysis comprising three phases, namely, a theoretical phase, field work phase, and a final analysis phase. To find relevant literature, electronic search of valid databases was utilized using keywords related to the concept of courage. Field work data were collected over an 11 months’ time period from 2013 to 2014. In the field work phase, in-depth interviews were performed with 10 nurses. The conventional content analysis was used in two theoretical and field work phases using Graneheim and Lundman stages, and the results were combined in the final analysis phase.Permission for this study was obtained from the ethics committee of Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Oral and written informed consent was received from the participants.From the sum of 750 gained titles in theoretical phase, 26 texts were analyzed. The analysis resulted in 494 codes in text analysis and 226 codes in interview analysis. The literature review in the theoretical phase revealed two features of inherent–transcendental characteristics, two of which possessed a difficult nature. Working in the field phase added moral self-actualization characteristic, rationalism, spiritual beliefs, and scientific–professional qualifications to the feature of the concept.Moral courage is a pure and prominent characteristic of human beings. The antecedents of moral courage include model orientation, model acceptance, rationalism, individual excellence, acquiring academic and professional qualification, spiritual beliefs, organizational support, organizational repression, and internal and external personal barriers. Professional excellence resulting from moral courage can be crystallized in the form of provision of professional care, creating peace of mind, and the nurse’s decision making and proper functioning.