Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)


School of Nursing

First Advisor

Carla E. Randall

Second Advisor

Julien Murphy

Third Advisor

Judy Tupper


ethics, applied ethics, clinical instruction, nursing


Ethical knowledge and skill is crucial to the discipline of nursing and is considered foundational knowledge for nursing practice (American Nurses Association [ANA], 2008). Nurses who assume roles in clinical teaching may be clinically competent but may have limited nursing education experience or knowledge in clinical instruction. The purpose of this project was to improve the educational experience of clinical instructors in the teaching of ethics to students in the clinical setting. This DNP capstone was a quality improvement project with a mixed method design using simulation as a teaching strategy. Eight clinical instructors from a university based baccalaureate nursing program in the Northeast were recruited to participate in an educational workshop designed to improve teaching of ethical decision making.

Simulation and debriefing methods were utilized to increase the participant’s awareness of their own knowledge and skill in ethics, and provide an opportunity for reflection on useful teaching strategies in applied ethics during clinical instruction. Following the educational intervention, participants experienced an increase in knowledge and confidence in ethics and teaching ethics to students in the clinical setting. The results of this project provided insight to specific gaps in the clinical instructor’s knowledge of ethics and in teaching ethics in practice, as well as what knowledge was needed to apply ethics in clinical instruction. This project has implications for nursing faculty development and may be replicated by other nursing programs who desire to develop their clinical instructors’ teaching of ethics.