RNSG 1413 - Foundations for Nursing Practice

Ethical & Legal Aspects of Nursing


Module Objectives:  

Utilizing critical thinking and the nursing process, the student is expected to:

  1. Discuss factors which impact the formation of values and common modes of value transmission.
  2. Discuss 5 professional values and how they may be demonstrated in the clinical setting.
  3. Describe the process of values clarification, including the valuing process, and its value to professional nursing practice.
  4. Distinguish between bioethics, clinical ethics, and nursing ethics.
  5. Compare and contrast the principle – based and care – based approaches for addressing ethical issues as they arise in nursing practice.  Include 5 principles to bioethics: autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, and fidelity.
  6. Define and discuss the nature of an ethical dilemma in nursing practice.
  7. Describe the effect the following have as ethical issues arise in nursing practice: nursing code of ethics, nursing standards of practice, patient’s bill of rights, and bill of rights for registered nurses.
  8. Discuss the role of nurse advocate in representing patients, promoting self determination, and being politically active.
  9. Define law and the four sources (constitutional, statutory, administrative, and common).
  10. Distinguish between the role of the state board of nursing and professional nursing organizations in the areas of:  professional regulation of nursing practice, nurse practice acts, standards, and credentialing.
  11. Examine components of the Texas Board of Nursing’s Nursing Practice Act. 
    • Identify how Texas defines a professional nurse.
    • Discuss practice standards that apply to all nurses in Texas.
    • Discuss standards that apply specifically to nursing students.
    • Discuss nursing scope of practice: what does this mean for students?
  12. Discuss specific clients rights (informed consent, advance directives, confidentiality).

Learning Resources:


Taylor, C.R., Lillis, C., LeMone, P., and Lynn, P. (2011). Fundamentals of Nursing:  The Art and Science of Nursing Care (7th ed.), Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

  • Chapter 6, pp. 84-107
  • Chapter 7: pp. 108-116, pp. 117-118 (Invasion of Privacy), pp. 121-122 (Informed Consent or Refusal), p. 129 (Student Liability)
  • Chapter 30: p. 823 (Informed Consent and Advance Directives)


Learning Guide

Supplemental Learning:

  • Complete additional learning experiences as listed in the Blackboard module.
  • Complete relevant Study Guide pages