An exploration of nurses’ perceptions of individual accountability in clinical practice

Patients and their families place their lives and their trust in health care providers, and in the health care system every moment. Accountability is a legal, ethical and moral obligation to patients, families and health care agencies to meet a standard of care. The code of ethics for nurses and the nursing literature stresses the importance of nurses being accountable for their actions. This work fails to answer how nurses learn to be accountable, how nurses define accountability, and how they practice accountably. This internship will provide a theory that explains the process of nurse accountability in practice. The Capital District Health Authority employs hundreds of nurses and new knowledge about how nurses understand and practice accountability will assist the company to develop programs of learning to address gaps in accountability, or make organizational changes to foster a practice environment that nurtures individual as well as organizational accountability.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Marilyn MacDonald


Shauna Houk


Capital District Health Authority




Life sciences


Dalhousie University



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