In their daily activities, nurses encounter problems and issues that might be inconsistent with their moral values [1-3]. In other words, nurses might face with controversial beliefs and values in doing the right thing and these might affect providing quality nursing care [4-7]. It is essential therefore, to have moral courage as a strategy to reinforce ethics and doing courageous deeds in nursing care [8, 9]. Studies have shown that as ethical doers, nurses need moral courage to manage ethical challenges, honor professional commitment to patients, and work based on ethical codes  The concept of moral courage was introduced during Florence Nightingale era and among all personal merits and specifications, the principle of nursing is benevolence .This characteristic allows an individual to act ethically.
Sekerka defines moral courage as the ability of doing ethical work and showing benevolence regardless of external risks .In another study, moral courage was defined as doing the right deed, protecting rightfulness, and performing based on ethical principles in providing health care to patients despite personal risks and threats .In fact, moral courage alleviates ethical distress[14, 15], leads to personal and professional development [16, 17], and motivates gaining skills and preserving knowledge in individuals .In addition, moral courage is a personal trait and the person who has it insists on their ethical values and commitments. Without moral courage, provision of nursing care is degraded and leads to moral distress or unethical behavior .
According to Bandura’s social cognitive theory (SCT), there is a mutual relationship among personal factors, behavior, and environment and these factors constantly affect each other . Studies have shown that personal and professional factors , organizational culture, and leadership style , can affect moral courage in nurses. It appears that ethical climate of organization also affects moral courage [19, 21]. Advanced organizations are featured with complicated moral environment that clearly affects the performance of organization. Hannah (2011) showed that people need to have specific traits to improve their behaviors in the face of controversies .
In addition, technological advances and changes in therapeutic methods and intervention, limited budgets and decrease in hospitalization capacity, increase of awareness in patients about their rights, reinforcement of supervision systems and health policies and regulations have led to several changes that emphasize on a better ethical climate .Ethical climate helps individuals to assess the problems and also acts as a guide for making decision about acceptable and unacceptable behaviors .
Ethical climate is a component of organizational climate and as a part of organization character, represents ethics in the organization [24, 25].Ethical standards in organization promote respect and honesty among personnel and increase job satisfaction and organizational success .
Moreover, ethical climate enhances motivation in employees, improves organizational commitment, and preserve personnel, .It also creates a sense of ownership and attenuates loneliness in employees, which in return adds to the performance of organization .On the other hand, improper ethical climate is a factor in understaffed wards, loss of motivation, and job dissatisfaction in nurses . Studies in Iran have shown that nurses’ perception of ethical climate in hospital was at moderate level . Limited studies have examined the relationship between moral courage and moral climate and the severity of this relationship, so the present study have been conducted to determine the relationship between moral courage and moral climate in nurses working in hospitals.