Ethical values offer a framework for behavior assessment, and nursing values influence nurses’ goals, strategies, and actions. A literature review was adopted in order to determine and define ethical values for nurses.
Materials and Methods:
This literature review was conducted based on the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination guidelines. The key words used to search relevant sources were nursing, ethics, ethical values, and nursing values. The search of articles in English was carried out in Medline, CINAHL, PubMed, Scopus, Ovid, and Proquest databases. The search of articles in Persian was conducted in databases of Magiran, SID, and Irandoc publications. After assessing and analyzing the obtained data, 17 articles which had a distinct definition of ethical values were chosen and subjected to a thorough study.
The search yielded 10 nursing ethical values: Human dignity, privacy, justice, autonomy in decision making, precision and accuracy in caring, commitment, human relationship, sympathy, honesty, and individual and professional competency.
This study showed that common ethical values are generally shared within the global community. However, in several areas, influences of social, cultural, and economical status and religious beliefs on values result in a different definition of these values. This study revealed that based on humanistic nature of nursing, common values in nursing protect human dignity and respect to the patients. Recognizing and definition of ethical values can help to improve nursing practice and develop codes of ethics.