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Academic freedom, analysis, and the Code of Professional Conduct

Snelling, Paul C.; Lipscomb, Martin


Paul C. Snelling

Martin Lipscomb


Despite nursing's move into higher education, academic freedom has received little attention within the literature. After discussing the concept of academic freedom, this paper argues that there is a potential tension between academic freedom and the requirement to educate student nurses who are fit for practice. One way in which this tension might be revealed is in the marking of student assignments. We ask the question - How should nurse educators mark an essay which is sufficiently analytical but reaches moral conclusions that lie outside the Code of Professional Conduct? We argue that despite an understandable temptation to penalise such an essay, invoking the Code of Professional Conduct to do so, no penalty should be applied, and academic freedom for students within higher education should be encouraged. This is because first, academic freedom is a good in itself especially as it allows unconventional and unpalatable conclusions to be discussed and rebutted, and second, applying a penalty on these grounds is necessarily inconsistent. © 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Snelling, P. C., Snelling, P., & Lipscomb, M. (2004). Academic freedom, analysis, and the Code of Professional Conduct. Nurse Education Today, 24(8), 615-621.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Nov 1, 2004
Journal Nurse Education Today
Print ISSN 0260-6917
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 24
Issue 8
Pages 615-621
Keywords academic freedom, analysis, code of professional conduct
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