February 21, 2001
Nursing is a profession that requires high levels of dedication, kindness, attention to details and compassion for humans that come from all walks of life. Practicing nurses are very skilled, trained and educated. Because of the profession and caring role that nurses fulfill, they are expected to follow a Code of Ethics as a guideline for conduct while on the job and performing other nursing duties. The Code of Ethics for Nurses identifies goals, ethical principles, and grievance procedures.
The code of ethics for nursing is quite universal and is recognized and valued in many countries. Professional recognition for nurses grew to newer heights in 1953 when the International Counsel of Nurses (ICN) established the International Code of Ethics for the nursing field. This International Code of Ethics for nurses identifies four fundamental responsibilities that nurses are to be accountable for. These responsibilities include the promotion of health, illness prevention through healthy lifestyle choices, alleviating suffering and health restoration. Nurses need to follow these guidelines and also respect various cultural rights while treating all patients with the dignity they deserve while vulnerable and ill. Nurses should take into account the diversity they encounter on a daily basis when faced with different ages, races, cultures, creeds, disabilities, genders, politics, social status and sexual orientation (ICN, 2005).
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the largest nursing organization in the U.S. that provides an ethical code of conduct for the nursing profession. In 2001 the ANA House of Delegates approved these nine provisions outlined below. • The professional nurse should ensure to practice with compassion and respect, maintaining the dignity and uniqueness of all. There should not pass judgment on economic, social status or health problems....