Abstract

Introduction: To follow the progress of technology and increasing domain of nurses’ duties, ethical challenges can be observed more than ever. Therefore, the growing and dynamic system of nursing requires nurses with professional and ethical competence who can provide optimal care. The aim of the present study was to define and explain dimensions of moral competency among the clinical nurses of Iran.

Methods: This qualitative content analysis study was carried out in the years 2014 and 2015 in Iran. Data were collected through in-depth semistructured interviews and field notes. The resulting data were analyzed by Graneheim and Lundman’s method of conventional content analysis. The participants were 12 clinical nurses who were selected using purposive convenient sampling and continued interviews until data saturation.

Results: Themes obtained in the present study were posited in three main categories of “moral character,” with subcategories of altruism, search for meaning, be pioneering, perfectionism, self-control, honesty, and forgiveness; “moral care” with subcategories of dignified care, safe care, fair care, and holistic care; and “moral decision-making” with subcategories of moral sensitivity, moral thinking, moral reasoning, and moral courage. 

Conclusions:  Findings of the present study suggest that nurses’ moral competency is an adorable character with a wide range that includes moral virtues and character, moral decision-making, and ultimately providing moral care; therefore, moral competency is a meta-competence in the field of nursing. Because there are many competencies in different fields.

 

Keywords: Moral competency, Meta-competence, Moral authority, Moral care, Decision making; Nurse
 
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