Nurturing the moral imagination: a reflection on bioethics education for nurses

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Lucia D. Wocial


A recent Carnegie Report on Nursing Education – Educating Nurses: A Call for Radical Transformation challenges the nursing profession to embrace an education model that integrates knowledge, skilled know how and ethical comportment. Placing ethics in such a prominent position in nursing education is a radical transformation. Teaching ethics must be intentional and it is integral to the development of individual nurses and the profession as a whole. The development of moral imagination has a prominent place in this new education model. The moral imagination is the ability to ponder and wonder about the inherent rightness or wrongness of decisions, choices and behaviors. This paper will review some key issues relevant to teaching ethics and then explore what nurturing the moral imagination could do for nurses as they learn to apply abstract ethics concepts to their clinical practice.


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Wocial, Lucia D. 2010. “Nurturing the Moral Imagination: A Reflection on Bioethics Education for Nurses”. Diametros, no. 25 (September):92-102.
Special topic – Ethics for Professions
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