Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Ellen Abate


This study examined the relationship of undergraduate and graduate-level nursing student self-reported moral sensitivity and social desirability. Kohlberg’s Theory of Moral Development, Gilligan’s Ethics of Care, and Rest’s Four Component Model provide the conceptual framework. Using a correlational exploratory design, this study examined the influence of academic preparation and social desirability on nursing student self-reported moral sensitivity. A purposive sample of undergraduate and graduate-level nursing students from two public universities participated in this study. The survey instrument included Comrie’s (2005) Modified Moral Sensitivity Questionnaire for Nursing students, Ray’s short version of the Marlowe-Crown Social Desirability Scale, and the Nursing Student Demographic Survey created by the researcher. Through exploratory and parametric analyses of the data, the findings suggest that experience as a registered nurse and social desirability are predictors of self-reported nursing student moral sensitivity.