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Background: Despite the inclusion of ethics education in the formal curriculum, students felt ill-prepared to manage ethical issues and protect patients’ health and wellbeing. Nursing students reported knowing what should be done to promote optimal patient care; however, they also reported an inability to act on their convictions due to fear of reprisal, powerlessness, and low confidence.

Method: Bloom’s Taxonomy guided the development and implementation of experiential-applied ethics education via micro-ethical dilemmas embedded in existing high-fidelity simulation (HFS) scenarios. Students were unaware that ethical dilemmas would be presented, replicating complex and spontaneous practice environments.

Results: Students reported that the educational strategy was powerful, increasing ethical decision-making confidence, empowering effective advocacy, and building courage to overcome fears and defend ethical practice. Conclusion: Simulation extends ethics education beyond the cognitive domain, ensuring the purposeful integration of affective and psychomotor learning, which promotes congruence between knowing what to do and acting on one’s convictions.


Previously published in Journal of Nursing Education

Published in 2017; Volume 56 No.(1): pages 55-58.