“Caring practices are central to nursing. What it is to nurse cannot be separated from what it is to care for and about others.”
–Christine A. Tanner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Nursing is both a science and an art. Caring behaviors and nurse engagement improve patient outcomes. Caring gives nurses a heightened sense of awareness. It guides the evaluation of nursing interventions and recognizes subtle changes in the patient’s condition. Though caring, compassion and spiritual care are basic to holistic nursing practice, these “soft skills” are not easily taught and not consistently integrated into the curriculum.

Prepare Students for Practice

Case studies are a powerful tool to connect nursing textbook content to real-life practice. How should the nurse therapeutically respond to a patient who is dying and has lost hope, or advocate for a patient whose end-of-life wishes are not being honored by family? Case studies that present these ethical and moral dilemmas and allow students to PRACTICE the ethical aspect of the profession can be an effective tool to teach the importance and relevance of the “art” of nursing practice.

I developed these case studies through my lens of current clinical practice and capture the essence of the themes I see most often in acute care. They emphasize the importance of the “art” and ethical aspects of the nursing profession. Each study integrates aspects of caring, spiritual care, nurse engagement/presence, and ethical decision making and its relevance to nursing practice.

Four Categories of Dilemmas

  1. PATIENT dilemmas
    *How should the nurse respond when their patient is anxious, has lost hope, is in spiritual crisis or exhibits possible drug-seeking behavior?
  2. TREATMENT dilemmas
    *How to support a patient who is facing the end of life and needs to choose between hospice/comfort care and aggressive medical management.
  3. ETHICAL dilemmas
    *What to do when the patient’s family members disagree with code status or the concern of medical futility.
  4. NURSE dilemmas
    *How to address incivility in practice and academia as well as student burnout.

Each case study topic $20
Complete with PDF student version and a fully developed answer key!

Terms of Use:

  • Each case study purchased gives the educator the right to use for their INDIVIDUAL use only.
  • No modifications may be made to any copyrighted documents without prior permission from KeithRN.
  • Use is granted for personal or educational purposes only.
  • Paper copies of PDF files may be made, but ONLY for personal or academic use in your program.