code of professional conduct for nurses in australia
Introduction Introduction Code of Professional Conduct Purpose Glossary of Terms References
Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses
Professional conduct refers to the manner in which a person behaves while acting in a professional capacity. It is generally accepted that when performing their duties and conducting their affairs professionals will uphold exemplary standards of conduct, commonly taken to mean standards not generally expected of lay people or the ‘ordinary person in the street’.1 The Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia is supported by the Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia. This Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses sets the minimum standards for practice a professional person is expected to uphold both within and outside of professional domains in order to ensure the ‘good standing’ of the nursing profession. These two companion Codes, together with other published practice standards (eg competency standards, decision-making frameworks, guidelines and position statements), provide a framework for legally and professionally accountable and responsible nursing practice in all clinical, management, education and research domains.2 The support and assistance of Royal College of Nursing, Australia and the Australian Nursing Federation in developing this edition of the Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia is acknowledged. In considering this Code and the Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia, it should be borne in mind that they are designed for multiple audiences: nurses; nursing students; people requiring or receiving nursing care; other health workers; the community generally; employers of nurses; nursing regulatory authorities; and consumer protection agencies.
1. Nurses practise in a safe and competent manner. 2. Nurses practise in accordance with the standards of the profession and broader health system. 3. Nurses practise and conduct themselves in accordance with laws relevant to the profession and practice of nursing. 4. Nurses respect the dignity, culture, ethnicity, values and beliefs of people receiving care and treatment, and of their colleagues. 5. Nurses treat personal information obtained in a professional capacity as private and confidential. 6. Nurses provide impartial, honest and accurate information in relation to nursing care and health care products. 7. Nurses support the health, wellbeing and informed decision making of people requiring or receiving care. 8. Nurses promote and preserve the trust and privilege inherent in the relationship between nurses and people receiving care. 9. Nurses maintain and build on the community’s trust and confidence in the nursing profession. 10.Nurses practise nursing reflectively and ethically.
Code of Professional Conduct
CoNdUCt StatemeNt 1 Nurses practise in a safe and competent manner Explanation
The purpose of the Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia is to: • outline a set of minimum national standards of conduct members of the nursing profession are expected to uphold inform the community of the standards of professional conduct it can expect nurses in Australia to uphold provide consumer, regulatory, employing and professional bodies with a basis for evaluating the professional conduct of nurses.
The Code is not intended to give detailed professional advice on specific issues and areas of practice. In keeping with national competency standards, nurses have a responsibility to ensure their knowledge and understanding of professional conduct issues is up to date. While mandatory language such as ‘must’, ‘shall’ and ‘will’ is not used throughout this Code, it is important for nurses to understand that there is a presumption the conduct discussed is mandatory and therefore not discretionary for nurses practising nursing. A breach of the Code may constitute either professional misconduct or unprofessional...
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