Being a Good Nurse and Doing the Right Thing: A Replication Study


Definitive version appears in Nursing Ethics, published by Sage.

volume 18 (2011): 54-63

The posted version is the authors' Word document as submitted for consideration.


This qualitative research, a replication of Smith and Godfrey’s study published in 2002, investigated the qualities of a good nurse and the role ethics played in decision-making. After reviewing the limitations of Smith and Godfrey’s work, the current study implemented modifications related to the research questions, sample selection, data collection, and utilization of software for data analysis. The original study identified seven categories that related to being a good nurse and doing the right thing. In this study, the use of relational analysis led to the recognition of four categories: (a) personal traits and attributes, (b) technical skills and management of care, (c) work environment and co-workers, and (d) caring and caring behaviors. To understand what it means to be a good nurse and do the right thing is a complex task; however, this research adds to the small amount of empirical data that exists to describe those characteristics.


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Nursing | Nursing Administration

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