Book review: Understanding Ethics for Nursing Students

Associate academic Chris Chaloner reviews this introduction to nursing ethics

Understanding Ethics for Nursing Students (Second edition)

Peter Ellis 
Learning Matters/Sage
£19.99 | 176pp
ISBN: 9781473997899

Part of the Transforming Nursing Practice series, this book is a welcome contribution to the range of literature related to nursing ethics. 

It is effectively structured and covers various aspects of ethics, including definitions, theories and principles. 

A well-presented discussion of ‘what ethics is and is not’ encourages readers to reflect on their personal ethical viewpoint and the factors that have influenced it, rather than viewing ethical practice as adherence to established theories and principles.

The need for nurses to develop their ethical awareness and understanding is promoted throughout the book. 

Overall, it is accessible and easy to read. A practice focus is maintained throughout and each chapter is linked to relevant Nursing and Midwifery Council standards and essential skills clusters. 

The book promises to ‘strengthen the ability of nurses to develop the values that will underpin their work and enable them to offer ethical services and leadership’. Readers are encouraged to explore material via a series of carefully considered activities that provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.

Although the title indicates that the book is directed at nursing students, it provides an excellent introduction to ethics for all nurses, regardless of their level of experience.
I would recommend it as an addition to nurses’ personal library, as the range of issues it covers would stand repeated reading and reflection.

Reviewed by Chris Chaloner, associate academic, University of Derby

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