Empathy is the foundation of understanding patient’s needs, concerns and emotions, and is fundamental to nursing practice. Empathy is the attribute that gives the nurse the ability to truly understand another person. Do nursing educators, students, and patients acknowledge the value of empathic communication? Two key questions emerge which are centered in a critical care scenario regarding a patient and his family. These questions explore whether nursing educators view their teaching role as inclusive of empathic communication with patients from both an ethical perspective as well as consideration of accreditation. Also identified is the saliency of the ANA (American Nurses Association) Code of Ethics for Nurses and the ICN (International Council of Nurses) Code of Ethics for Nurses in addressing the realm of empathic communication. Nursing faculty must be cognizant of any aspect of nursing education that compromises their ethical responsibility. The inclusion of teaching empathic communication to nursing students and ensuring their competency is vital to all the patients and family encountered along their professional journey.



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