Senior Honors Projects, 2020-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation




Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)


School of Nursing


Erika Metzler Sawin

Lauren Mullen

Mark Piper


Over the past three decades, opioid medication misuse and abuse has skyrocketed. The increase in improper use has created the need for more frequent exercise of ethical reasoning skills in practice. This study was designed to determine the effect of an ethics-centered debriefing exercise following a standardized simulation scenario concerning opioid misuse/abuse on nursing students’ value of and perceived confidence in ethical reasoning skills. 18 senior level BSN students at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, participated in an ethics- focused debriefing exercise following the simulated scenario. The debriefing was constructed using the ANA Code of Ethics and James Madison University Eight Key Question framework. Students’ outlooks on ethical reasoning, both perceived confidence and value of, were captured before and after the experience via the CARS Survey of Ethical Reasoning. This study found that overall confidence, knowledge, and perceived value of ethical reasoning were increased following the simulation and debriefing experience and concluded that a structured debriefing exercise following exposure to an opioid-involved patient scenario was beneficial to students’ ethical reasoning skills, and better prepared them for these scenarios in practice.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.