Scientific view of modern theoretical, ethical and sociological concepts in nursing and other healthcare professions


Health Care Sciences

Holder of subject:

Dr Alvisa Palese, Associate Professor
Dr Fiona Murphy, Associate Professor

Education providers:

  • Dr Fiona Murphy, Associate Professor
  • Dr Alvisa Palese, Associate Professor
  • Dr Walter Sermeus Professor

Contact hours - lectures:


Contact hours - seminar:


Contact hours - exercises:


Individual student work:




Level of study:

Third cycle study program Health Care Sciences





Subject specific competences:


The student:

  • Analyses established treatment models at certain filed;
  • Learns about and compares treatment models` influence on individuals` functioning in social environment, quality of life and health;
  • Thinks about implementation of more effective models;
  • Gets skills to use resources in treatment process;
  • Critically monitors known factors and knows how to transform new knowledge in practice;
  • Independently evolves new knowledge and expands scientific context.

Students will be able to:
1. Outline and explain traditional ethical principles and theories.
2. Discuss the historical and philosophical foundations for ethical thinking.
3. Critically analyze key concepts inherent in the ethics of nursing and health care.
4. Identify instances in which key ethical concepts are relevant to nursing/health care practice, management, administration, and research, for the individual practitioner, the local institution, regional/national bodies, and global agencies.
5. Apply their understanding of 1-4 above to a critique of current issues in nursing and health care. 

Mandatory  and recommended references:






Mandatory references:

  • Glanz, K., Rimer, B.K. & Viswanath, K., eds., 2008. Health behavior and health education: theory, research, and practice. 4th ed. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.
  • Chinn, P.L. & Kramer, M.K., 2012. Integrated Theory & Knowledge Development in Nursing. St. Louis: Elsevier.
  • Fawcett, J. & DeSanto-Madeya, S., 2013. Contemporary Nursing Knowledge: Analysis and Evaluation of Nursing Models.
  • Allan, H., Traynor, M., Kelly, D. & Smith, P., Understanding Sociology in Nursing. SAGE.
  • Harrington Meyer, M., Daniele, A.E., Gerontology: Changes, Challenges, and Solutions. 
  • Rowe Kaakinen, J., Padgett Coehlo, D., Steele, R., Tabacco, A., May, S. & Hanson, H., Family Health Care Nursing: Theory, Practice, and Research. Philadelphia: Davis Company.
  • Graham, D., Rowles, P.B. Teaster. Long-Term Care in an Aging Society: Theory and Practice. New York: Springer.
  • Browne, A., 1993. A conceptual clarification of respect.  Journal of Advanced Nursing, 18(2), pp. 211-217.  DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1993.18020211.x 
  • Farah, M.J. & Heberlein, A.S., 2007. Personhood and neuroscience: Naturalizing or nihilating?  American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience,  7(1), pp. 37-48. 
  • Kiger, A., 2015. ‘Mercy killing’:  when is it justified, and what is the nurse’s ethical responsibility?  Obzornik zdravstvene nege,  49(1), pp. 4-8. 
  • Schroeder, D., 2008. Dignity:  Two Riddles and Four Concepts.  Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics,  17(1), pp. 230-238. 
  • Skela-Savič, B. & Kiger, A., 2015. Self-assessment of clinical nurse mentors as dimensions of professional development and the capability of developing ethical values at nursing students: A correlational research study. Nurse Education Today,  35(10), pp. 1044-1051.  doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2015.04.003  
  • Test, new issue due for publication April 2016:
  • Devettere, R.J. Practical Decision Making in Health Care Ethics: Cases, Concepts, and the Virtue of Prudence , 4th ed.  Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press.

Conditions for the inclusion in the study:

No prerequisits.

Assessment methods:

  • Active cooperation at lectures and seminars
  • Presentation of contextual seminar work
  • Applied contextual project 
  • Original scientific article publication before finished thesis proposal 
  • Written coursework for ethics:
  • 1) Critical review of a selected article, approximately 1000 words (20% of ethics)
  • 2) 2500-word essay (60% of ethics)
  • Participation in class seminars (20% of ethics)

Teaching methods:

Introduction lectures, Literature review, Discussion (problem learning), Experiential learning (practice case), Field work (thematic researches), Group work, Lecture, Seminar with group work and student presentations, Self-directed study – reading and critical analysis of source material.