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Abstract

Academic dishonesty is an issue in academic institutions, which is escalating due to digital cheating. Cheating in online courses is a challenge in health science disciplines where high ethical standards are expected in professional practice. Unethical behaviors may begin in the academic career and persist into the professional career. The purposes of this article are to examine academic dishonesty within the online learning environment, transference of unethical behavior into professional practice, and strategies to reduce academic dishonesty in online graduate nursing education. In order to maintain high academic and professional standards, the individual must feel a moral obligation to engage in ethical behaviors in academia using online instructional technologies and in professional practice. Educators that teach in online courses are obligated to develop pedagogical and instructional designs that discourage dishonesty and encourage ethical decision making in the academic and professional setting. This article provides a glimpse of online cheating in academia and its implications for graduate nursing education and professional practice.

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