Purpose: To describe the Ethical Issues Scale (EIS), its conceptual development and psychometric evaluation, and its uses in determining how frequently nurses experience ethical issues in practice.
Design: The EIS was validated with a sample (N = 2,090) of New England registered nurses (RNs) currently in practice. The sample was randomly split into two approximately equal samples. The calibration sample was used to derive the underlying components; the validation sample was used to confirm the component structure.
Methods: Psychometric analysis of the 35-item EIS included: (a) item analysis, (b) confirmatory principal components analysis (PCA), and (c) internal consistency reliability using Cronbach's alpha.
Results: Three components (end-of-life-treatment issues, patient care issues, and human rights issues) were demonstrated, confirming the original conceptually-derived structure. The calibration sample accounted for 42.4% of initially extracted common variance; the validation sample accounted for 41.5% of initially extracted common variance.
Conclusions: The three EIS subscales had satisfactory internal consistency reliability and factorial validity for use as independent scales in future studies.