Practice What You Teach: A Case Study of Ethical Conduct in the Academic Setting

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Nursing faculty teach ethics and ethical behavior in undergraduate and graduate curriculum. In this article, a case study is presented that illustrates a breach of ethical behavior and conduct in the academic setting by both faculty and students. The decision-making process used to resolve this dilemma by the chair, the associate dean, and a faculty member relied on a dialectic approach that looked at philosophical underpinnings, historical background of nursing ethics, and university- and schoolwide policies and procedures. The conversations facilitated the ethical resolution to the dilemma raised in the case study as well as the recognition of additional issues for consideration. The authors uncovered compelling questions that included, “What is meant by ethical conduct in the classroom?,” “How do we teach it?,” and “How do we practice it?” The purpose of this article is to begin the dialogue in search of answers to these questions.

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