Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Nursing, 3rd Edition

  • Margaret A. Burkhardt
  • Nancy Walton
  • Alvita Nathaniel
  • ISBN-10: 0176696571
  • ISBN-13: 9780176696573
  • 0 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2010, 2008
  • COPYRIGHT: 2018 Published
Request a Copy for Review


About the Product

This highly praised text provides a comprehensive exploration into the complex challenges surrounding the ethical questions faced by today’s modern, professional nurse. In an approach that acknowledges the intricate nature of addressing ethics in practical dilemmas, Ethics and Issues in Contemporary Nursing prepares students to enter this unique, ethically responsible profession. In this third Canadian edition, the spotlight is on Canada’s unique health care system, including the most up to date content reflecting the recently updated Code of Ethics for Registered and Practical Nurses by The Canadian Nurses Association. Intended for Canadian RN and PN students, this text features landmark Canadian cases and literature, as well as a deep discussion of Indigenous nursing. This edition has been updated to highlight key trends, models, and principles to guide ethically sound decisions with a focus on developing the skills needed to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of contemporary Canadian nursing.


  • “Ask Yourself” boxed articles present real-life ethical dilemmas that encourage contemplation of personal beliefs and biases.

  • Think About It” discussion questions challenge you to integrate and apply content

  • Coverage of end-of-life care has been significantly updated

  • Increased coverage of relational ethics

  • Key instructor ancillaries can be accessed at Our website gives instructors the ultimate tool for customizing lectures and presentations. Ancillaries include:

  • NETA Test Bank: available in cloud-based platform, Nelson Testing Powered by Cognero, a secure, online testing system that allows instructors to author, edit, and manage test bank content. This resource was revised by Carrie Mines, Niagara College, and Kim Fraser, Red River College. The test bank includes over 280 multiple-choice questions written to according to NETA Guidelines in a similar format to the National Council Licensure Examination.

  • NETA PowerPoint: Lecture slides for every chapter have been created by Carrie Mines, Niagara College. These include key figures, tables, and images and are simple for instructors to customize for their courses.

  • Image Library: Digital figures, short tables, and photographs used in the text are available for instructor use in customizing their PowerPoints.

About the Author

Margaret A. Burkhardt

Margaret A. Burkhardt is Associate Professor Emerita, West Virginia University School of Nursing. She taught nursing and practiced holistic nursing care for more than thirty years, and is an active member of the American Holistic Nurses Association. A prolific writer, Dr. Burkhardt has published numerous articles and book chapters, as well as co-authoring two books on spirituality in health and ethics in nursing.

Nancy Walton

Dr. Nancy Walton, PhD, is Chair of Ryerson University’s Research Ethics Board (REB) and an Associate Professor in the Daphne Cockwell School of Nursing. She currently teaching ethics in the Master of Nursing (MN) program as well as ethics and professional issues in the undergraduate collaborative program at Ryerson. A member of the Research Ethics Board at Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto, Dr. Walton also maintains a widely read Canadian research ethics website ( and co-authors popular blogs on research ethics ( and nursing ethics ( She is a consulting ethicist for the REB at the Ontario College of Art and Design and the Cardiac Care Network of Ontario. Her research interests include priority-setting and decision-making in cardiac care and the provision of services for children with autism spectrum disorder, the role of parent-as-therapist for children with autism spectrum disorder, and the ethical issues in the use of social media in research. She is a devoted long distance runner and lives in Toronto with her partner and co-blogger, Dr. Chris MacDonald, and her daughter, Georgia.

Alvita Nathaniel

Alvita Nathaniel is an Associate Professor and the Coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Track at the Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center at West Virginia University School of Nursing. In addition to teaching, she has worked as a family nurse practitioner in free clinics and juvenile detention facilities for more than two decades. An active participant in policy-making, Dr. Nathaniel's articles regularly appear in journals and other health care-related publications.

Table of Contents

Part One: Guides for Principled Behaviour
Chapter 1: Social, Philosophical, and Other Historical Forces Influencing the Development of Nursing
Chapter 2: Ethical Theory
Chapter 3: Ethical Principles

Part Two: Developing Principled Behaviour
Chapter 4: Values Clarification
Chapter 5: Values Development
Chapter 6: Ethical Decision Making

Part Three: Principled Behaviour in the Professional Domain
Chapter 7: Legal Issues
Chapter 8: Professional Issues
Chapter 9: Professional Relationship Issues
Chapter 10: Practice Issues Related to End-of-Life Care
Chapter 11: Practice Issues Related to Patient Self-Determination
Chapter 12: Scholarship Issues
Chapter 13: The Future of Canadian Health Care: Challenges and Priorities

Part Four: Nursing in Today’s World: Challenges and Opportunities
Chapter 14: Health Policy Issues
Chapter 15: Economic Issues
Chapter 16: Social Issues
Chapter 17: Issues of Gender and Culture
Chapter 18: Rural, Remote, and Indigenous Nursing in Canada
Chapter 19: Empowerment for Nurses

New to this edition

  • Updated Canadian content and research integrated throughout including new and increased case study material
  • Updated chapter specifically on Rural, Remote, and Indigenous Nursing in Canada includes discussion of the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.
  • Updated material on ethical leadership supporting leadership/organizational/institutional mandates
  • Entire text has been updated to reflect in fully integrate the most recent version of the Canadian Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics for Registered and Practical Nurses.


Student Supplements

eBook: Ethics & Issues in Contemporary Nursing  (ISBN-10: 0176826548 | ISBN-13: 9780176826543)