Chapter 1: Core values

Journal Article 1.1: Traynor, M. (2014) ‘Caring after Francis: moral failure in nursing reconsidered’, Journal of Research in Nursing, 19(7-8): 546-556.

Description: This discussion paper considers recent nursing failures. Drawing on a selection of key literature and ongoing research, it argues that nursing failures are a possibly inevitable consequence of work in healthcare systems with their combination of cognitive, bureaucratic, professional and work related pressures.


Journal Article 1.2: Horton, K., Tschudin, V. and Forget A. (2007) ‘The value of nursing: a literature review’, Nursing Ethics, 14(6): 716-740.

Description: This article is part of a wider study entitled Value of Nursing, and contains the literature search from electronic databases. Key words for the search included ‘values of nursing’, ‘values in nursing’, ‘organisational values’ and ‘professional identity’. Thirty-two primary reports published in English between 2000 and 2006 were identified. The findings highlight the importance of understanding values and their relevance in nursing and how values are constructed. The value of nursing is seen to be influenced by cultural change, globalization, and advancement in technology and medicine.


Journal Article 1.3: Lin, Y., Watson, R. and Tsai, Y. (2012) ‘Dignity in care in the clinical setting: a narrative review’, Nursing Ethics, 20(2): 168-177.

Description: This review aimed to explore nursing literature and research on dignity in care of inpatients and to evaluate how the care patients received in the hospital setting was related to perceived feelings of being dignified or undignified. This review can help nurses to better understand dignity in care, and for policy makers, there are implications about determining the physical environment, staff attitude and behaviour and organisational culture needed to promote patient dignity in nursing.


Journal Article 1.4: Smith, P. (2014) ‘The state we’re in: nursing in the 21st century – a view from Scotland’, Journal of Research in Nursing, 19(7-8): 606-618.

Description: A discursive view the current state of nursing and the uniqueness of the Scottish context, commenting on the impact of Francis, policy and practice developments, NHS Scotland’s core values and the role of the Scottish Ombudsman in oversight and governance. Also addresses the role of research and development and the emergence of ‘alternative narratives’ associated with medical science and public health considered  alongside the narratives of a caring and compassionate workforce to deliver high standards of safe, effective person-centred care to ensure ‘the people of Scotland lead longer, healthier lives’.


Journal Article 1.5: Johns, C. (1999) ‘Unravelling the dilemmas within everyday nursing practice’, Nursing Ethics, 6(4): 287-298.

Description: This article sets out the process of ethical mapping as a reflective device to enable practitioners to reflect on dilemmas of practice in order to learn through the experience and inform future practice. Ethical mapping is illustrated around a single experience that an intensive care practitioner shared in an ongoing guided reflection relationship. Within this process the practitioner draws on ethical principles to inform the particular situation, notably autonomy, doing harm, truth telling and advocacy. Through reflection, ethical principles are transcended and assimilated into knowing in practice, enabling the practitioner to become more ethically sensitive in responding to future situations.


Journal Article 1.6: Baillie, L. and Gallagher, A. (2009) Evaluation of the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘dignity: at the heart of everything we do’ campaign: exploring challenges and enablers’, Journal of Research in Nursing, 15(1): 15-28.

Description: This article details findings from part of the evaluation of the Royal College of Nursing dignity campaign, which used a qualitative case study design across seven UK sites. The study used interviews with 51 staff members, direct observation of the physical care environment and document analysis, and data were analysed using thematic analysis. The article focuses on two areas: enablers (staff receptivity and creativity; organisational support and leadership; and campaign educational materials) and challenges (time constraints; and staff attitudes and insight).


Recommended readings

Journal Article 1.7: Hehir, B. (2013) ‘Report: a crisis of compassion: who cares?’: Battle of ideas’, Nursing Ethics, 20(1): 109-114.

Description: This is a summary of a conference session that was conceived in recognition of the fact that real problems have been identified in regard to the poor quality of health and social care that vulnerable people – sick, elderly and disabled people – receive in the United Kingdom.


Journal Article 1.8: Groves, W. (2014) ‘Professional practice skills for nurses’, Nursing Standard, 29(1): 51-59. 

Description: This article discusses how an understanding of professional practice skills, communication skills and teamwork can help nurses to cope with these conflicting demands and compassion fatigue while performing their professional roles and responsibilities.