Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Andrea Bostrom

Second Advisor

Kay Setter Kline

Third Advisor

Vanessa Howle


The purpose of this study was to compare moral judgement development levels of staff nurses with diverse levels of educational preparation and different lengths of clinical experience. Kohlberg's theory of moral development served as the theoretical basis for this descriptive correlational study. The Judgements About Nursing Decisions (JAND) was used to measure moral judgement in this study. The subjects (N = 115) were practicing staff nurses in the clinical areas of orthopedics, oncology, medical/surgical care, cardiac care/telemetry, and intensive care services. Varying lengths of clinical experience were reported and the majority recorded a Bachelors Degree in Nursing (BSN) as their highest level of education. Spearman's Rho correlations of the JAND results supported that a relationship did not exist between a subject's level of education or length of clinical experience and the dependent variable knowledge and valuation of ideal moral behavior.


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