Experienced UK nurses and the missing U-curve of virtue-based reasoning

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


This chapter focuses on one of the cohorts, experienced United Kingdom (UK) nurses, as the findings about them revealed a disconcerting picture, at some odds with what has been seen in other similar studies of UK professions, for example medical doctors. It explains that findings and put them into the context both of the background literature and some other relevant findings about the cohort of experienced UK nurses. The chapter discusses that survey was administered to first-year and final-year nursing students at seven UK universities and to nursing practitioners with more than five years of experience. Virtue-based reasoning generally picks up again substantially among experienced professionals once they realise that formal rules are insufficient to address the complex nuances of actual practice, for which professional phronesis or 'practical wisdom' and/or more 'intuitive artistry' are needed. Nurses often face gruelling moral challenges and conflicts, perhaps more so than other health care workers.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCultivating Moral Character and Virtue in Professional Practice
EditorsDavid Carr
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2018