Why should we care about academic integrity in nursing students?

Elizabeth Emmanuel, Jann Fielden, Kolleen Miller-Rosser


Integrity, honesty, and respect are essential values for nursing students. Yet, in recent years the rise of breaches in academic integrity has become alarming. The era of increasing advances in the capabilities of smart technologies may be facilitating rather than deterring students from academic integrity breaches in their work and assessments. This issue raises questions for nurse academics on how they can best ensure that nursing students align their behavior with the expected nursing’s professional values, both during their study years and beyond. This discussion paper aims to examine contributing factors leading to breaches of academic integrity amongst nursing students and determine why we as nurse academics need to both remain alert to these factors, and vigilant about identifying and managing such breaches. Existing factors that may influence academic dishonesty are discussed concerning students; nurse academics; curriculum design; and the apparently growing cultural shift in ethical reasoning. With increased insight into these influencing factors, nurse academics need to take responsibility and prepare students to take on the highest standard of moral values to ensure safe and effective patient outcomes. We need to become more aware of and understand nursing students’ perspectives and adequately prepare our soon-to-become nurse graduates. We are charged with supporting, guiding, and teaching our students to develop skills within a culture of integrity. Ensuring an integrity activity smorgasbord in our practice can counteract the increased risk of academic dishonesty in our undergraduate nursing programs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/jnep.v11n5p46

Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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