Author page: Mary Ellen Wurzbach

Researcher Picture
About the author: Mary Ellen Wurzbach

Title: Mary Ellen Wurzbach, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP, PhD

Department: University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, College of Nursing - John McNaughton Rosebush Professor Emerita

Field: Nursing Ethics and Philosophy

Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

Phone: (920) 231-8570


Research interests:

Evidenced Based Practice – Myths of Moral Education. .......Summary of 30 years of research on moral uncertainty, moral certainty, moral comfort and moral regret........History of Stewardship in Nursing Ethics.

Teaching interests:

Dr. Wurzbach has completed 100 theses and clinical papers as a Chair or Member using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. In addition, she has supervised approximately 50 independent studies by both undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Wurzbach has taught clinical in 20 different agencies including hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, day care centers, and public health agencies. Her students have completed more than 75 Aggregate/Service-learning projects including medication disposal programs, disaster training for the elderly, health fairs and bicycle rodeos. Dr. Wurzbach also developed three on-line courses in ethics (graduate and undergraduate) and one in end-of-life care. She also developed an in-classroom course - Ethical and Legal Foundations of Nursing. Several years ago Dr. Wurzbach developed the first course for the new Doctorate of Nursing Practice Program in the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh College of Nursing entitled Philosophy, Theory and Ethics in Advanced Nursing Practice. Through the years she has guest-lectured more than 50 times on the subject of nursing ethics. Nationally she developed one of the first nursing ethics courses, both in the classroom and on-line, and taught it for thirty years. She also developed and taught the first undergraduate on-line palliative care nursing course and the first graduate primary healthcare nursing ethics on-line course in the country.

- folder: Research

- folder: Articles for STTI

These articles have been published with Sigma Theta Tau International. Viewing of some may require prior STTI member Logon.

Moral Integrity Matters!

Wurzbach, M. E. (2012). Moral integrity matters!. Reflections On Nursing Leadership, 38(4), 28-28 1p.

Nursing ethics and Hagar the Horrible

Wurzbach, M.E. (2005). Nursing ethics and Hagar the Horrible. Reflections On Nursing Leadership, 31(3), p. 18-19, 28.

The Dilemma of Withholding or Withdrawing Nutrition

Wurzbach, M.E. (1990). The Dilemma of Withholding or Withdrawing Nutrition. Image: the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 22(4), p. 226-230.

- folder: Henderson Repository Submissions

The items in this folder have been posted in the Henderson Repository.

Experiencing Moral Uncertainty in Practice

Moral Regret - The Experience of Breaches of a Nursing Ideal

Treatment Trials - The Need for an End-of-life Policy

- folder: Editorial Book Reviews

These reviews were written as an Editorial Chair for STTI and Doody Publishing.

- folder: Community Health Nursing

Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Curran and Associates. Shaping an integrated delivery network: Home care's role in improving services, outcomes and profitability. Health Administration Press (2/24/99). Doody's Nursing and Allied Health Book Review Quarterly, 5(2). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Neighbors: A practical guide to medical-surgical nursing in the home. W. B. Saunders Company. (12/3/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Bowers, The JCAHO home health mock survey made simple. Opus Communications. (11/9/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1997). Ross, Sexually-transmitted diseases sourcebook. Omnigraphics, Inc. (8/26/97) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1997). Kreuter, Community health promotion ideas that work: A field-book for practitioners. Jones and Bartlett Publishers. (7/14/97) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1997). Tagliareni, Teaching in the community: Preparing nurses for the 21st century. National League for Nursing. (6/19/97) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1997). McKinnon, Community health nursing: A case study approach. Lippincott-Raven Publishers. (3/22/97) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1997). Aspen Publishers, Inc., Community health education and promotion: A guide to program design and evaluation. (3/19/97) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Stanhope, Public and community health nurse's consultant: A health promotion guide. Mosby Yearbook (10/29/96) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Twinn, Community health care nursing: Principles for practice. Butterworth-Heinemann. (8/30/96) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Pender, Health promotion in nursing practice (3rd ed.). Appleton & Lange. (5/28/96) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Spradley, Community health nursing: Concepts and practice (4th ed.). Lippincott-Raven Publishers. (3/26/96) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Lubkin, Chronic illness: Impact and interventions (3rd ed.), Jones and Bartlett. (1/30/96) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Mulvey, Community health nursing. Delmar Publications, Inc. (1/30/96) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1995). Stanhope, Quick reference to community health nursing (2nd ed.), Mosby Yearbook. (12/27/95) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1995). Fondiller, Nursing: The career of a lifetime, National League for Nursing Press. (12/27/95) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1995). Clark, Nursing in the community (2nd ed.), Appleton & Lange. (11/28/95) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1995). Cookfair, Nursing care in the community (2nd ed.). Mosby Year Book, Inc. (10/12/95) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1995). Pike, Health promotion for all. Churchill-Livingston, Inc. (9/26/95) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1995). Kiger, Teaching for health (2nd ed.). Churchill-Livingston, Inc. (9/26/95)

- folder: Nursing Theory

Wurzbach, M. E. (2002). McEwen, Theoretical Basis for Nursing. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (6/28/02) .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Tomey, Nursing Theorists and Their Work. Mosby (12/26/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Alligood and Tomey, Nursing Theory: Utilization and Application (9/25/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Johnson, Introduction to Theory and Reasoning in Nursing. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins (9/25/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Joel, Nursing Experience: Trends, Challenges, and Transitions, 4th Edition McGraw-Hill Companies (9/25/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Schreiber, Using Grounded Theory in Nursing. Springer Publishing (8/28/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Hein, Nursing Issues in the 21st Century: Perspectives from the Literature. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (8/28/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Macrae, Nursing as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemporary Application of Florence Nightingale’s Views. Springer Publishing Co. (6/26/01) .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Feldman, Strategies for Nursing Leadership Springer Publishing Co. (6/26/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Kearney, Advancing Your Career: concepts of Professional Nursing. F.A. Davis, (6/26/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Dochterman and Grace, Current Issues in Nursing Mosby (4/19/2001). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2001). Orem, Nursing: Concepts of Practice, 6th Edition Mosby (4/5/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Allen, The Changing Shape of Nursing Practice: The Role of Nurses In the Hospital Division of Labour. Routledge Publishers, (3/27/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2001). Parker, Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice. F.A. Davis Company (2/27/01). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Atkinson, Nursing Homeless Men: A Study of Proactive Intervention. Whurr Publishers. (11/28/00). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Chaska, The Nursing Profession: Tomorrow and Beyond. Sage Publications. (11/28/00). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Williams, Nursing, Medicine and Primary Care. Open University Press. (10/31/00). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Chitty, Professional Nursing: Concepts and Challenges. 3rd Edition. W.B. Saunders Co. (10/31/00). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Shiparski, Riding the Waves of Change. Practice Field Publishing. (9/30/00). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Wesorick, A Journey From Old to New Thinking. Practice Field Publishing. (9/30/00). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Walsh, Nursing Frontiers: Accountability and the Boundaries of Care. Butterworth-Heinemann (7/30/00) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Norman, The Changing Nature of Nursing in a Managerial Age. Blackwell Science, Inc. (7/22/00). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Kim, The Nature of Theoretical Thinking in Nursing 2nd Edition. Springer Publishing (6/27/00). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2000). Mosby, Nursing Reflections: A Century of Caring, Mosby, (4/25/00). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Kelly, Dimensions of Professional Nursing 8th Edition McGraw-Hill Companies (3/17/00) edited. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Dossey, Florence Nightingale: Mystic, Visionary, Healer Springhouse (2/25/00). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Rodgers and Knafel, Concept Development in Nursing: Foundations, Techniques and Applications 2nd edition. W.B. Saunders (1/25/00) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Bower, Nurses Taking the Lead. Personal Qualities of Effective Leadership. W.B. Saunders (1/25/00) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Kim and Kollak, Nursing Theories: Conceptual and Philosophical Foundations. Springer Publishing (1/25/00) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Binnie, Freedom to Practise: The Development of Patient-Centred Nursing. Butterworth-Heinemann (1/21/00). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1999). Watson, J., Postmodern Nursing and beyond. Churchill Livingstone (10/13/99) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1999). Roy, The Roy adaptation model. Doody's Nursing and Allied Health Book Review Quarterly, 5(2). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1999). Chinn and Kramer. Theory and nursing: Integrated knowledge development. Mosby. (2/19/99) Doody's Nursing and Allied Health Book Review Quarterly, 5(2). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Andrews. Transcultural concepts in nursing care (3rd ed.). Lippincott-Raven Publishers. (12/25/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Polifroni. Perspectives on philosophy of science: An historical and contemporary anthology. Lippincott. (10/29/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Guzzetta. Essential readings in holistic nursing. Aspen Publishers. (8/5/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Parse. The human becoming school of thought: A perspective for nurses and other health professionals (2nd ed.). Sage. (6/14/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Leddy & Pepper. Conceptual bases of professional nursing (4th ed.). Lippincott (edited book review 5/28/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Deloughery. Issues and trends in nursing (3rd ed.). Mosby-Yearbook, Inc. (1/27/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Kritek, K. Reflections on healing: A central nursing construct. NLN Press (edited book review 1/10/98) .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1997). Tomey, M., & Alligood, R. Nursing theorists and their work (4th ed.). Mosby. (11/21/97)

- folder: External Published Material

- folder: Book Chapters

Wurzbach, M. E. (1997). Quality care: An ethical imperative in a time of change. In C. Meisenheimer (Ed.), Improving quality: A guide to effective programs. Gaithersburg, MD; Aspen Publishers, Inc. AJN Book of the Year, 1997. .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2008). Moral certainty, moral uncertainty, and moral regret: Theoretical perspectives. Nursing and Health Care Ethics: A Legacy and a Vision.Omaha Project. American Nurses Association. Received a 2008 Publication Award of Excellence in Washington D.C. from the Society for Technical Communication.

- folder: Books

Wurzbach, M.E. (2002; 2004). Consulting Editor 2nd Edition. Community Health Education and Promotion: A guide to program design. Gaithersburg, MD; Aspen Publishers, Inc. Republished by Jones and Bartlett Publishers, 2004. Bestseller.

- folder: Journal Articles

Wurzbach, M.E. (2016). A perspective on moral uncertainty and politics. The American Nurse Today. Accepted for Publication. Will be published in February 2016. ......Wurzbach, M.E. (2016). Managing moral uncertainty in practice. Nursingmatters. Accepted for Publication. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2016). Ethical guidelines for prescriptive practices. Nursingmatters. Accepted for Publication. .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2014). Academic honesty: Speaking with one voice. Perspectives on Nursing Education. In revision. .....Wolf, M. (2013). Palliative sedation in nursing anesthesia. AANA Journal, April 2013, Vol. 81, No. 2, pp 1-5. Written as a final paper for my course Philosophy, Theory and Ethics in Advanced Nursing Practice. .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2012).Moral integrity – Why it matters. Reflections on Nursing Leadership 38(4), p. 1-4. .....Conn, V., Wyman, J., Rawl, S., Wurzbach, M.E. (2011) WJNR Secrets of successful short grant applications.WJNR 34(1), p.6-23. ....Cohen, M., Alexander, G., Wyman, J., Fahrenwald, N., Prock, D., Wurzbach, M.E., Rawl, S., & Conn, V. (2010), Scientific impact: Opportunity and necessity. WJNR, 32(5). p. 578-590. .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2008). Risk, trust, informed consent and health care. Journal of Legal Medicine Fall 2008. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (December 2007). Manuscript reviewing: An ethical perspective. Nurse, Author & Editor: Blackwell Science Publications. .....Haas, S.G. (2006). I’ll never forget: Unexpected humility. Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care, March/April, 8(2), p. 120-121. (My Sigma Theta Tau International Mentee in the Distinguished Writer Program). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2005). Risk, trust, informed consent, and managed care. (Accepted for publication in the Journal of Nursing Risk Management. Spring 2005). .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2005). Spring 2003 Commencement Speech at University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh. Nursing ethics and Hagar the Horrible Reflections On Nursing Leadership 3rd Quarter 2005, 31(3), p. 18-19, 28. .....Wurzbach, M.E. (2005) Comfort: An essential ethical principle for palliative nursing care. ASBH Exchange, 8(3), p. 9. American Society of Bioethics and Humanities Newsletter. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2002). End-of-Life treatment decisions in long-term care. The Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 28(6), 14-21. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). The moral metaphors of nursing. Neonatal Intensive Care 13(5), 29-37. (Request to reprint from The Journal of Advanced Nursing 30(1), 94-99). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (2000). Nursing perspectives on practitioner-assisted suicide. Nursing Outlook, 48(3), 116-119. (Won the Region IV Print Media Award for Excellence in Nursing Journalism, Sigma Theta Tau International, 2001). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1999). Acute care nurses' experiences of moral certainty. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30(2), 287-293. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1999). The moral metaphors of nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 30(1), 94-99. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1998). Managed care: Moral conflicts for primary health care nurses. Nursing Outlook, 46(2), 62-66. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Comfort and nurses' moral choices. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 24, 260-264. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1996). Long-term care nurses' ethical convictions about tube-feeding. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 18(1), 63-76. (Won the Region IV Print Media Award for Excellence in Nursing Journalism, Sigma Theta Tau International, 1997). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1995). Long-term care nurses' moral convictions. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 21(6), 1059-1064. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1994). Nurses' convictions about end-of-life treatment. MAIN Dimensions, 5(6), 1-4. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1993). Teaching nursing ethics on television: Fostering interactivity. Journal of Nursing Education, 32(1), 37-39. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1992). An assessment and intervention for certainty and uncertainty. Nursing Forum, 27(2), 29-35. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1991). Decision-making under conditions of uncertainty. Nursing Forum, 26(3), 27-35. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1990). The dilemma of withholding or withdrawing nutrition. Image: Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 24(1), 18-22. (Won the Region IV Print Media Award for Excellence in Nursing Journalism, Sigma Theta Tau International, 1991). .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1986). Ethical evaluation of a nursing diagnosis. Health care ethics: Dilemmas, issues, and conflicts (pages 91-95). Midwest Alliance in Nursing. Indianapolis, IN. .....Wurzbach, M. E. (1985). Rumors. . .separating fact from fiction. Nursing 85, 15(11), 89-91. .....Check, J. F., & Wurzbach, M. E. (1984). How elders view learning. Geriatric Nursing, 5(1), 37-43.