Introduction: The Code of Ethics selected for this assignment is Code of Ethics For Nurses With Interpretive Statements 2015 by the American Nurses Association. This Code of Ethics guides nurses and nursing student in the ethical obligations they have, their professional relationships and their responsibilities as they provide care for patients. It is comprised of nine provisions, and it is widely regarded as the cornerstone of US nursing ethics.
Code of Ethics for Nurses Overview The Code of Ethics for Nurses consists of a series of guidelines which provide a framework for ethical practice in nursing. The code begins with a preamble that highlights the importance of ethical practice in nursing and the responsibility of nurses to uphold the profession’s ethical standards. Code provisions are listed below:
- Nursing practice is characterized by compassion and respect towards the dignity and worth of each individual.
- The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community, or population.
- Nurses promote, advocate for and protect the health and safety of patients.
- Nurses have authority and accountability for their nursing practices. They make decisions and take actions consistent with the duty to promote optimal health care.
- A nurse’s duties include promoting health and safety, as well as ensuring that she is taking care of herself.
- In order to maintain the integrity of her profession, the nurse must act with honesty in every aspect of nursing and provide accurate and relevant information.
- Nurses advance the nursing profession by conducting research, developing professional standards, and creating health and nursing policy.
- A nurse works with health care professionals and members of the public in order to reduce disparities and promote health, protect human rights and improve health.
- Collectively, nursing professionals, via their professional organizations, are required to articulate nursing values and principles, uphold the integrity of the profession and incorporate social justice in nursing and health policies.
Importance of the Code of Ethics to the Profession: The Code of Ethics is important to the nursing profession because it provides a framework for nurses to deliver quality care that is respectful of the patient’s dignity and rights. Code of Ethics: The code helps nurses make ethical decisions and navigates complex ethical dilemmas they may encounter in the course their work. It is important to have a code that defines what nurses are expected to do and maintains the integrity of their profession.
Code of Ethics for Nurses: Some areas relevant to nursing are not addressed explicitly in the Code of Ethics for Nurses. In the case of conflicts of interest, for instance, there is no guidance in the code on how to handle them. Although the code emphasizes the importance of advocacy and protecting patients’ rights, it does not provide specific guidance on how to advocate for patients effectively. It could be resolved by adding interpretive statements that cover these topics.
Code of Ethics Discusses Several Ethical Principles: In the Code of Ethics for nurses, several of the ethical principles discussed in earlier lessons are addressed. The first paragraph of the code discusses, for instance, the concept of autonomy, which highlights the importance of respecting each individual’s inherent worth and dignity. The principle of beneficence is also discussed in the code, which emphasizes the nurse’s primary commitment to the patient and the obligation to promote health and provide optimal care. Additionally, the principle of non-maleficence is discussed in the code, which emphasizes the responsibility of nurses to protect the patient’s health and safety.
Code of Ethics: It is important for health professionals to have a code of ethics because it guides them in ethical decisions and helps with their obligations. The importance of ethical practice in healthcare is paramount.