Bioethical Issues Paper

Anticipatory Guidance for the Bioethical Issues Paper

Acceptable Issues for the Bioethical Issues Paper: Be sure to review the description and rubric for this assignment, especially the following section from the syllabus:

Nursing Ethics Paper

Please refer to Bloom’s cognitive domain for guidance on graduate level expectations. At the graduate level there is an expectation of tight organization, rigor, strong analysis, incisive argument, and scrupulous citation.

Students will select an ethical issue to examine, and write a scholarly paper on the issue’s importance to nursing. The issues should be a large professional issue that affects nursing (e.g., nurse migration, racism in nursing education, just pay for nurses, NINR and underfunding of nursing research…) or a large health-related issue (e.g. poverty, climate justice, unequal healthcare, child poverty/hunger, homelessness…). The paper will examine the issue, including its antecedents, dimensions, ethical analysis, cultural dynamics, the position of the nursing profession on the issue (nursing code of ethics). National, state, and/or healthcare organizations’ policies or stance surrounding this issue should be reviewed, and evaluated, with recommendations or suggestions for enhancement. Succinct examples and illustrations will be an important part of this paper as they are in any ethical discussion.

Do not write on a medical issue, for example, treatment cessation, futility, consent for surgery, abortion, genetic manipulation, placebos, etc.

The reference list should include a variety of sources and demonstrate the student’s research of the topic. This is a scholarly paper and the research must include academic substance, not merely opinions or propaganda (i.e., media reports without verifiable facts).

All papers are to be in standard academic APA (7th ed. or current) format, and be free of spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors. Headings should be utilized in all papers of this length to guide your reader. For this paper you must use the headings from the rubic. Body of the paper should be 10-12 pages (3,000 words). This does not include the title page, reference list, or appendix.

Graduate papers: ALL academic, graduate, papers are formal papers, similar to journal articles in academic style. Do not use colloquialisms, do not use first person (I/me), do not write about your personal opinion, do not self-reference: avoid all personalization. Graduate papers are arguments, not opinions or assertions. All claims must be substantiated with proper citations from the academic literature. Use of popular literature is generally unacceptable.

Citations: At the graduate level, failure to provide proper and accurate citations in your work is considered an act of academic dishonesty and can result in immediate failure of the course and dismissal from the program. The importance of proper citations cannot be over-stressed. Failure to cite your sources is the most serious of offenses in the academic world; it is tantamount to the theft of the work of others. At the graduate level it cannot be argued that one did not know how to cite one’s work. If you have any haziness, any at all, about the use of citations you must, contact the writing center for guidance forthwith.

Paper Length:–to repeat—paper “length” is based on assumed adequate content, not actual paper pages, and “paper length” are an estimate of how much space is needed to accomplish the task of the assignment. A page of text is approximately 260 words. The corpus (body) of a paper 12 pages in length would be roughly 3,100 words. Packing in white space reduces the paper content to about 2,000 words – it is about quality of the content, not pages. Stretching a paper with white space, large font, oversized margins, pages with one paragraph, etc., to reach “page length” will essentially guarantee that the paper will fall far short of expected content quality depth, breadth, and rigor. It is a bit more accurate to use word count but, as to word count, where the assignment is analysis and synthesis, adding non-analytical content such as biographical and historical information to meet a word count will still fail to accomplish the specified task.

Sources: Paper length and sources share the same issues. It is not about the absolute number of sources and citations, it is about the quality, rigor, breadth, complexity, and depth of the sources. At the graduate level it is expected that the student will focus on primary sources, written by the authors themselves, not secondary sources (reflections by others on what the primary author says). It is also expected that the student will use a wide range of sources, some of which may conflict with others, i.e., take differing views. It is also expected that the sources will be exclusively academic and not popular works.

Mechanics: Graduate papers need to be error free. Proofread. Look up the rules for the use of quotation marks, block quotes, colons, semicolons, commas, etc. Going forward, points will be deducted for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, diction. A list within narrative text does NOT use numbers, it uses letters. Look up the rules.

Inclusive language: It is expected that all papers will be written using inclusive language. Man/mankind are exclusive and unacceptable. Avoid using female pronouns for nurses. If you write about nurses (plural) you can say “they” and can avoid the awkward construct of “she or he.”

English Dictionary: the definitive dictionary of the English language is the Oxford English Dictionary (OED). No other dictionary carries the same authority. The OED is available online through the APU library and any public library.

Graduate level work: All graduate papers are looking toward analysis and synthesis, not description.

Analysis – analyze, breakdown, classify, compare, contrast, determine, deduce, diagram, differentiate, distinguish, identify, illustrate, infer, outline, point out, relate, select, separate, subdivide

Synthesis – categorize, combine, compile, compose, conceive, construct, create, design, devise, establish, explain, formulate, generate, invent, make manage, modify, organize, originate, plan, propose, rearrange, reconstruct, relate, reorganize, revise, rewrite, set up, summarize, tell, write

Notes on writing a “Classical Essay” meaning a generic essay.

A classical essay has 6 components:

Introduction: Usually a paragraph or up to a page in a short essay, perhaps several pages for a book.

Thesis statement with 3 parts. You could write “This essay is about (a), (b), and (c)” but, in terms of style, that is too clunky.


The development of the a modern profession of nursing required addressing the social location of women and their disenfranchisement/suffrage, the creation and regularization of nursing schools, and structuring laws to undergird nursing licensure and registration.

Notice the three parts of this thesis statement—(a) women’s suffrage, (b) nursing schools, and (c) laws for nursing licensure and registration

Corpus of the paper:

Section A on the social location of women and the need to create an educated, scientific, paid occupation for women outside the home and outside domestic service. This required that women be able to affect society and legislatures. Without the vote early nursing leaders could not change society so they became involved in the women’s suffrage movement. This section can be a few pages to several chapters related to this aspect of the thesis statement. The thesis statement tells the reader where you are going with your paper and also keeps the content organized.

Section B: The start of nursing schools using a modified Nightingale model in the US. Combatting physicians who opposed nursing education. The fact that nursing schools and nursing education in the late 1800s was qualitatively better than medical education. The need for the “grading of nursing schools” that is standardized curriculum, standardized clinical hours and experiences, and consistent graduation requirements. With the creation of national nursing educational bodies, this became “accreditation.” This section can be just a few pages or several chapters.

Section C: Initially anyone who wanted to call themselves a nurse had to register but there were no requirements for registration (permissive registration). As new laws were written it became necessary to have a specific education and then to register in order to be entitled to use “RN.” This title and its protection had to be codified in state law (mandatory registration and title protection). A law also had to be created in order to require a licensure exam. IN addition a licensure exam had to be created. This was done on a state-by-state basis but it was realized that there needed to be one set of test questions in order to assure quality. Then it was decided that the exam needed to be the same in every state and a passing score needed to be the same in every state. This required not only state cooperation but also one national exam administered to all nursing graduates.

Conclusion: A conclusion will summarize parts A, B, C but will bring them together in a way that advances your thesis statement. It is not simply a reiteration, repetition, of what you have said above – it does something more with the material.

E.g., —

[summarize] Early nursing leaders managed, against all social odds, to create a profession of nursing. They worked together through the ANA and the NLNE to …suffrage…accredited schools…RN title…licensure and registration. [now conclusion extends the content beyond summary and extends the thesis statement] What they could not have foreseen is the extraordinary developments that would take place in nursing practice that would necessitate master’s and even doctoral degrees in nursing, and the creation of nurse practitioners as well as clinical nurse specialists. And yet the social, educational, and legal structures that they put in place in the late 1800s and early 1900s have been sufficiently elastic as to encompass the expanded need for nursing education and research, the evolution of specialized and independent nursing practice, and the creation of the National Institute for Nursing Research….etc….etc….etc.