School of Nursing and Health Studies Ethics professor Carol Taylor will receive the Ethics of Caring Nursing Ethics Leadership Award, the NHS announced across social media platforms Jan. 31.
Taylor will accept the award from the Ethics of Caring and the National Nursing Ethics Conference, organizations that seek to promote ethical discussion in nursing. She will accept the award at the seventh annual conference in Los Angeles on March 26.
Taylor currently teaches ethics to post-graduate and doctoral nursing students in the NHS, and she serves as a Senior Clinical Scholar with Georgetown’s Kennedy Institute of Ethics, a center founded in 1971 to promote the ethics of health, the environment and emerging technology.
Taylor has long embodied the mission of the conference and has devoted her work to promoting ethics in nursing through education, according to Ethics of Caring Co-Founder and President Katherine Brown-Saltzman.
“Carol is the spirit of nursing ethics,” Brown-Saltzman said in an interview with The Hoya. “She’s one of the most humble, dedicated people I know, in getting the message out of how important it is that we educate nurses in order for them to really be able to step up in their nursing ethics obligations.”
As a founding member of the KIE, Taylor has written and lectured on a variety of issues related to healthcare ethics, according to the KIE’s website. Her work at the institute supports her nomination for the award, according to KIE Director Daniel Sulmasy.
“Dr. Taylor is not only immensely intellectually gifted and has made substantial contributions to bioethics, particularly in nursing, but she is an extremely caring person,” Sulmasy said in an interview with The Hoya. “An award seems perfectly suited for her. We’re very proud of her.”
For the past four years, the conference has given the award to someone who demonstrates a history of exemplary performance in at least two of the following categories: ethical practice in nursing care, empirical research relative to ethics and nursing practice, ethics education, ethics and professionalism in clinical practice, and evidence-based practice relevant to ethics and nursing, according to Brown-Saltzman.
The conference was founded over 25 years ago as a local collaborative conference. Taylor spoke at one of the first conferences and has served on the award-nominating committee, which initially sparked some controversy over presenting her the award, according to Brown-Saltzman.
“I just want to say, I mean truly, that Carol probably might’ve been nominated as our first winner, but it took us a while to think about nominating someone from within,” Brown-Saltzman said. “That wouldn’t be okay if we weren’t able to nominate from people on this planning committee, that would be an injustice.”
Taylor said she was flattered to receive the award, especially from Ethics of Caring, where she serves as a member of their National Planning Committee, according to their website.
“It always means more if it’s an award from your peers,” Taylor said. “These are the people that know you, and would also like to receive the award. It was very nice.”
Taylor initially came to Georgetown in 1987 to earn her Ph.D. in philosophy with a bioethics concentration after receiving a medical-surgical nursing degree. Three years later, she was chosen by Dr. Edmund Pellegrino to help start the Center for Clinical Bioethics, of which she was director for 10 years.
Receiving the award for her work on bioethics in nursing validates her commitment to the university’s values, Taylor said.
“We talk about at Georgetown being men and women for others,” Taylor said. “I always thought that part of the Jesuit tradition was inviting all of us to know our gifts and to know our gifts could be used for others. This was simply a nice affirmation of that, because it gives the energy to pick up a new day’s challenge.”