Nurses' moral courage and related factors: A systematic review

Reza Abdollahi, Mohammadrasool Ghasemianrad, Amin Hosseinian-Far, Shabnam Rasoulpoor, Nader Salari, Masoud Mohammadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Nurses face various ethical conflicts when taking care of patients, and such conflicts require moral courage. This systematic review was conducted with the aim of investigating moral courage and its related factors among nurses. Methods To find related studies, the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed. The PubMed, Web of Science, Google Scholar, Scopus, Embase and Science Direct databases were searched using keywords such as Courage, Moral Courage, and Nurses, and no lower time limit was imposed when conducting the searches. The identified studies were published between January 2000 and March 2023. Quality of articles was assessed using the STROBE checklist. Results The pooled sample size for the 19 included studies was 7863. All studies were observational and cross-sectional. The results showed that three categories of factors most related to moral courage are individual, moral, and factors related to the organization. Underlying factors of each category are also provided within this paper. Conclusion Moral courage is an integral part of nursing, which as a profession, is becoming even more challenging with the advancement of science and technology. Therefore, there is a need for nurses and especially nursing managers to be considerate of factors affecting moral courage of nurses, with a view to strengthening the positive factors and reducing the negative impacts.
Original languageEnglish
Article number151768
Number of pages9
JournalApplied Nursing Research
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2024


  • Moral courage
  • Nurses
  • Systematic review
  • Courage
  • Moral


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