Peter, Elizabeth PhD RN; Lunardi, Valeria Lerch PhD RN; Macfarlane, Amy BScN RN Nursing resistance as ethical action: literature review. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 46(4):403-416, May 2004.
Nurses in positions of relative power were not found to be without moral/political conflicts. The positioning of nurses among many others, such as managers, nurse colleagues, other health professionals, and patients/families, opens up the potential for ethical conflicts of a political nature to develop. Gaudine and Beaton (2002) described the ethical conflicts that a group of nurse managers experienced within an organization. The nurses identified ethical concerns related to the quality of care of patients, unjust organizational practices, and the quality of the work environment. They had expressed their unique concerns within their organizations, illustrating how their perceived moral responsibilities were deeply related to their professional nursing roles. Their representation of moral accountability echoed feminist Margaret Urban Walker's (1998) contention that morality is not socially modular. The social-moral roles of the nurse managers within organizations provided them with at least the potential to open up vast opportunities for resistance and possible change when ethical conflicts arose.