Course Overview


This Video Learning Activity explores the practical application of ethical principles to the everyday clinical environment by reviewing the internal and external ethical frameworks that give rise to the moral obligations of nurses, with a focus on the ethical reasoning that informs whistleblowing.

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the ethical obligations of the nurse
  • Explain the ethical reasoning that informs the act of advocacy
  • Identify those circumstances where advocacy is required

Topics include:

  • The internal and external ethical frameworks that give rise to the moral obligations of nurses
  • The ethical reasoning that informs whistleblowing
  • Moral courage and the nursing profession
  • The ethical reasoning that informs advocacy
  • Advocacy in practice and why nurses excel at speaking up for those in their care

Target audience

All nurses and midwives at all levels.


Explore what motivates nurses to advocate, and to examine the concept of advocacy in depth. In particular, special emphasis will be placed upon the consequences of advocacy and why the choices made by nurses on an everyday basis will have far reaching impacts.


There are times in clinical practice where there is an incongruity between the outcomes expected by those in care, and what those providing that care perceive their obligations to be. Nurses are ideally situated to identify when this incongruity is present, and represent the values, beliefs and expectations of those in care so that meaningful outcomes can be obtained. Understanding the ethical model that informs the act of advocacy is critical to performing this act in the most optimal manner.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.


Darren Wake

Peripatetic and always intellectually restless, Darren Wake has pursued varied careers in journalism, media production, academic philosophy and nursing. As a nurse, he worked in the speciality areas of critical care, community care, remote area healthcare and education. As a formally qualified academic philosopher Darren taught undergraduate units in law and ethics in healthcare, although his principle research focus revolved around logic and the philosophy of language. Darren’s media production output can be found scattered about the Ausmed website and in his long forgotten days as a word monkey, he wrote for European publications such as The Scotsman, The Great Outdoors, Country Walking and The Times. In 2014 Darren consulted to the Department of Health for the development of Consumer Directed Care policy and guidelines for remote area communities in the Northern Territory. These days he is the managing editor of a small independent publishing company based in the United Kingdom, and lives in Tasmania. In his spare time, Darren is currently studying a formal course in celestial navigation, just in case the inevitable zombie apocalypse messes with the world’s GPS satellite system.