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Ethics play an important role in activating the manpower and achieving the organizational goals. The nurse leaders’ ethical behavior can promote the care quality by affecting the nurses’ performance and bringing up several positive consequences for the organization.The aim of this study was to identify and describe the ethical competency of nurse leaders in cultural domains and the working conditions of the Iranian healthcare setting to arrive at a more comprehensive and specific perspective.This was a qualitative conventional content analysis study conducted with the participation of 14 nurse leaders at various levels. The participants were selected using the purposive sampling method, and the required data were collected using deep interview and also semi-structured interview. A deductive method of content analysis was applied in data analysis.This study was conducted in accord with the principles of research ethics and national rules and regulations relating to informed consent and confidentiality.Data analysis resulted in 17 subcategories that were subsequently grouped into three major categories including empathetic interactions, ethical behavior, and exalted manners.Our findings are consistent with previous ones, yet presenting a more complete knowledge about aspects of ethical competency of nurse leaders. The nurse leaders can provide a proper behavioral model for the work environment through the use of new information.The nurse leaders introduced various aspects of ethical competency, so the leaders’ ethical competency could be promoted via planning and managing some ethical development programs. More future research is needed regarding the experiences of the subordinates and other related parties.