Effects of using standardized patients on nursing students' moral skills

Kucukkelepce G. E., DİNÇ L., ELÇİN M.

NURSING ETHICS, vol.27, no.7, pp.1587-1602, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 27 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0969733020935954
  • Journal Name: NURSING ETHICS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, CINAHL, EBSCO Legal Collection, EBSCO Legal Source, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Philosopher's Index, Psycinfo, Public Affairs Index, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.1587-1602
  • Keywords: Case analysis, ethics, nursing education, nursing ethics, standardized patient, ETHICS EDUCATION, SENSITIVITY, SIMULATION, JUDGMENT, MODEL
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Nurses and nursing students increasingly confront ethical problems in clinical practice. Moral sensitivity, moral reasoning, and ethical decision-making are therefore important skills throughout the nursing profession. Innovative teaching methods as part of the ethics training of nursing students help them acquire these fundamental skills. Aim: This study investigated the effects and potential benefits of using standardized patients in ethics education on nursing baccalaureate students' moral sensitivity, moral reasoning, and ethical decision-making by comparing this method with in-class case analyses. Research design: This is a quasi-experimental study. Participants and research context: The sample comprised 89 students in Hacettepe University's Faculty of Nursing. Following lectures describing the theoretical components of ethics, students were randomly assigned to two working groups, one using standardized patients and the other using in-class case analyses. Data were collected using the Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire, Rest's Defining Issues Test, and the Nursing Dilemma Test. All data were analysed using IBM SPSS Statistics Version 23. Ethical considerations: Ethical approval and official permission were obtained. All participating students completed informed consent forms. Findings: According to the results, the moral sensitivity of students in the standardized patient group significantly improved over time compared to those in the case analysis group, while the mean scores of students in both groups for moral reasoning and ethical decision-making were not statistically significant. Conclusion: Based on our results, we recommend the use of both standardized patients and case analysis as appropriate teaching methods in ethics education.