Development of the Ethical Sensitivity Scale in Undergraduate Nursing Students

Development of the Ethical Sensitivity Scale in Undergraduate Nursing Students


The objectives of this study were first to develop a valid and reliable instrument that measured the sensitivity of Italian nursing undergraduates, and, second, to conduct an observational study in second- and third-year Italian nursing students to provide new insight into the efficacy of nursing ethics education to develop ethical sensitivity.A quantitative, descriptive, observational pilot study was conducted in two Italian universities. To investigate the students' sensitivity, a brand new scale entitled "Ethical sensitivity scale undergraduates nursing students" (ESS-UNS) was produced. Twenty items that referenced the principles of the Italian Nursing Code of Ethics were identified (2009).The measured exploratory factorial analysis outlined a two-factor solution. Based on the semantics of the items, the first dimension was named "Ethical sensitivity as a positive attitude" and it was created to detect the perceptions and opinions of the students regarding good behaviours in nursing. The second dimension was named "Ethics sensitivity as a negative attitude" in virtue of the perceptions of the students regarding the behaviours considered ethically negative.The added value of our study is in the verification that academic ethical education significantly increases students' awareness regarding the possible ethical violations observed and lived in during clinical training. This can help students understand and identify the ethical conflicts in relationship with their moral maturity.

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