a survey by arie jg van der arend. The opening statement clearly outlines what the survey was about, and summarised methods, results, statistical analysis, and conclusions. The background and rationale for completing the survey were placed in a historical context, then related to moral issues, political and technological changes and ways that informed the debate on strengthening nurses’ position in society. This preamble was not entirely clear at first until the point was made that “These moral aspects and their associated moral problems are inherent in nursing.” Van der Arend and van den Hurk (1999). Having reviewed the literature, van den Hurk found little empirical evidence that ethical training helped nurses in everyday practice. Even when nurses identified what was actually ethical, there was doubt that philosophical and theoretical concepts were understood or applied. Given that virtually every domain of nursing in every country lays down ethical practice guidelines UCKK, (1996) for example, it was difficult to understand that nurses were not able to identify or perceive the connections between concept and reality, as the literature review suggested. However, the study was a way to find out exactly what were problems of a moral or ethical nature, and so had a valid purpose. Despite the standards, or ethical education, these did not appear to address the reality of what nurses faced in practice, or determine what they considered to be morally problematical. the need for empirical evidence and discovery around these issues formed the study’s hypotheses.
Research Question, Methods, and Procedures: The areas of apparent discrepancy prompted the researchers to look for exactly what was contained in nurses’ moral problems and seek their opinions as to the extent of the problems in practice. . So the researchers’ underlying purpose might be described as moving from theoretical and descriptive ethical concepts, into looking at nurses’ reality, experiences and perceptions on what constituted a moral problem.