Exploring the Theory and Application of Law and Ethical Reasoning in Nursing Practice

Exploring the Theory and Application of Law and Ethical Reasoning in Nursing Practice

Exploring the Theory and Application of Law and Ethical Reasoning in Nursing Practice

Prior to submission delete all instructions pages 1-6 and all text in blue, this is important to help you adhere to word count and reduce text matching.

Cover Sheet

Please use the coversheet when you have completed your reflective essay and before you submit it to Turnitin to ensure you have included all the required information and it is correctly formatted using the guidelines below.

Reflective Essay Headings

  • Introduction
  • Ethical Case Scenario
  • Main Body: Evaluation and Analysis of the Ethical Dilemma
  • Conclusion
  • Action Plan
  • References

Formatting and Presentation

  • Line spacing: 1.5
  • Text aligned: Left
  • Font type: Arial
  • Font size: 12


The purpose of this reflective essay is to enable you to identify and achieve the prescribed learning outcomes of this module, NUR09722 Exploring the Theory and Application of Law and Ethical Reasoning in Nursing Practice. You are required to write about an ethical experience from practice, relating it to their reading and knowledge gained from the module and providing evaluation and analysis of what you have learned

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes are as follows:

LO1.  Critically examine the relationship between law, ethics and ethical reasoning in nursing practice in Singapore.

LO2. Implement and appraise a decision-making process using legal and ethical framework or code of practice

LO3. Critically evaluate strategies for dealing with ethical and legal challenges in the provision of healthcare to inform future nursing practice.

LO4. Critically reflect on the way in which healthcare legislation, culture and society influence ethical nursing practice and health and well-being more broadly.

You will be required to provide evidence of achievement for each learning outcome within your assignment.

What is a reflective writing and why is it important?

Reflective writing can help you think critically about experiences from your nursing practice. Reflective writing benefits from using an appropriate reflective cycle to structure how to write about a scenario/situation and will help you consider, in depth, what you learned from the experience.

Reflection consists of thinking critically about an experience and learning from it by:

  • Outlining a scenario/situation that you have experienced from placement.
  • Processing the significant features and identifying the need for new learning.
  • Finding new solutions to dilemmas.
  • Using the process as a tool to identify what you learned from the experience and help you develop future practice by considering what you would do next time the situation arose.

Reflective writing is important because it:

  • Helps you keep a record for the future on how you felt about an experience before, during and after the event.
  • Provides a way of continually develop your critical thinking and writing skills
  • Allows you to relate your experiences to the perspectives of others
  • Enables you to develop analytic abilities and evaluative judgement that can enhance employability.

Evidence of Achievement of Learning Outcomes

Your assignment requires to be written in an academic style at Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF) Level 9. Guidance about this level of academic writing can be found on the SCQF website (see Level Descriptors section). https://scqf.org.uk/about-the-framework/

Student services and the library also provide support around academic writing. http://www.napier.ac.uk/study-with-us/undergraduate/student-support

Academic Evidence

You must produce academic evidence of your achievement of the learning outcomes for this module within your summative assessment. This should include references of nursing and health related books and academic peer reviewed journals along with reports, publications and websites from high qualityreliable sources.

Completing your Assignment

To complete your assignment you MUST use this template. In order to successfully populate your reflective essay with evidence you will need to engage with the module content on Moodle and attend the lectures, tutorials and academic support sessions. The sections of the reflective essay are provided below. While these are shown separately, please do include linking sentences, so that each section flows from the previous part of the assignment.

Once completed, your assignment will be submitted electronically via Turnitin. Refer to Moodle for guidance on submission of your reflective essay via Turnitin (details will also be covered in tutorials).

How can reflective writing be structured?

We have structured this summative assessment using Gibbs (1988) reflective cycle, but there are many others that you can use in practice (Nicol and Dosser, 2016).  The use of a reflective cycle will help you to organise your thoughts so you can critically evaluate the ethical dilemma into a coherent piece of writing.  This approach will help you produce writing that is more analytical and will help you think about what you have learned from the experience.

References to help with writing your reflective essay:

Cottrell, S. (2017). Critical thinking skills : effective analysis, argument and reflection (Third edition.). VLeBooks.

Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by Doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford Polytechnic Further Education Unit.

Nicol, J. S. & Dosser, I. (2016). Understanding reflective practice. Nursing Standard. 30(36), 34-42. doi:10.7748/ns.30.36.34.s44. ISSN 0029-6570.

Summative Assessment


Learning Outcome 1 will be addressed by briefly examining the importance of law and ethics in nursing practice. It will be important to align your discussion with the Singapore Nursing Board’s Code for Nurses and Midwives, 2018.

Also highlight the importance of self-regulation/reflection in nursing practice.

Your discussion must be supported with academic evidence and references using the APA 7th ed. School of Health and Social Care citation method.

Word Count Guide: Approximately 300 words

Ethical Case Scenario

Reflect on your everyday practice and try to identify a situation which represented an ethical problem or dilemma. Identify the bioethical principles that are in conflict, as these will be discussed in-depth to evaluate the situation in the following section (the main body). The situation may also involve relevant legal and/or professional issues which it may be appropriate to address.

The chosen situation should be written on the basis of the work you have already done for the formative assessment (please ensure you maintain confidentiality/privacy at all times and do not use any patient identifiers, please reference the SNB code of practice).

All references must be cited using the APA 7th ed. School of Health and Social Care citation method.

Word Count Guide: Approximately 500 words

Main Body

Learning Outcomes 2, 3 and 4 will be addressed by discussing, analysing and evaluating the research and evidence base that informs the discussion related to the case scenario from an ethical standpoint taking into account relevant ethical, legal and/or professional issues as appropriate and with reference to supporting academic literature.

When planning your main body section, it may be helpful for you to structure this section using the bioethical principles as your ethical framework (Autonomy, Nonmaleficence, Beneficence and Justice). You should also consider the philosophical theories of deontology, utilitarianism and values-based care as appropriate. It is also important to consider the legal aspects of this case and your professional code of conduct, see:  Singapore Nursing Board’s Code for Nurses and Midwives, 2018.

Your discussion must be supported with academic evidence and references using the APA 7th ed. School of Health and Social Care citation method.

Word Count Guide: Approximately 1,750 words


Summarise the key aspects discussed in the main body. Include evidence of new learning. The conclusion should be written in the third person.

Word Count Guide: approximately 250 words

Action Plan

Learning Outcome 4 is addressed by reflecting on how this learning will inform future practice and you should develop an Action Plan to address what would be best practice if the situation arose again?

  • You need to think about the things you have learned from this situation, so you should refer to the new learning you identified in the ethical case scenario and consider whether you were satisfied with the outcomes or whether you would handle the situation differently in the future.
  • You should also summarise the implications for your future nursing practice

This Action Plan should be written in the 1st person

Word Count Guide: 700 words


Please include a list of the references you used to support your writing throughout your summative assessment here. These must follow the APA 7th ed. referencing style and be written in alphabetical order by first author’s surname.

Referencing guidelines are accessible here: https://my.napier.ac.uk/your-studies/improve-your-academic-and-study-skills/referencing-and-academic-integrity/referencing-guidelines