Despite their significant roles in patient care, most nursing students have limited ability to make wise ethical decisions in difficult situations.
This study aimed to examine the effects of nursing ethics education through case-based learning (CBL) on moral reasoning among nursing students.
This controlled trial was conducted in 2016–2017 on 73 4th year nursing students recruited from Urmia Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Urmia, Iran. Participants were randomly allocated to an intervention (n = 37) and a control (n = 36) groups. Nursing ethics education to participants in the intervention and the control groups was provided through the case-based learning and the lecture methods, respectively. Using the Nursing Dilemma Test, participants' moral reasoning was assessed both before and 1 month after the intervention. Data were analyzed using the paired- and the independent-samples t and the Chi-square tests.
No statistically significant difference was found between the intervention and the control groups regarding the pretest mean score of moral reasoning (44.97 ± 7.50 vs. 43.64 ± 6.87;P = 0.44). However, the posttest mean score of moral reasoning in the intervention group was significantly greater than the control group (49.08 ± 5.74 vs. 44.67 ± 5.87;P = 0.002).
Nursing ethics education through CBL is an effective strategy for improving moral reasoning among nursing students. Therefore, this method is recommended for ethics education to nursing students.