Code of Ethics for Nursing

Topics: Nursing, Ethics, Patient Pages: 5 (1344 words) Published: November 28, 2009
Ethics is an essential part of what nursing is. Nursing has an eminent chronicle of trepidation for the wellbeing of those who are ill, hurt, and the helpless and for universal fairness. This concern is personified in the specifications of nursing care to those in society. The American Nurses Association has developed the nursing code of ethics that covers the obligations of nursing to protect those who are in their care. This code holds nurses responsible and accountable for their individual nursing judgments (Fremgen, 2006). Nursing includes the deterrence of illness, the easing of distress and the safeguard, support and the renewal of health in the care of patients, families and the communities in which they live in. The ethical practice of nursing is lasting and distinguishing. The code of ethics makes specific the goals, standards and requirements of the nursing profession. The nursing code of ethics achieves the following rational:1. Concise of the requirements and duties of all who enter the nursing field.

2. The profession's ethical standards are undeviating.

3. A demonstration of nursing's own comprehension of nursing responsibilities to humanity.

Clarity of GoalsThe goals of the American Nursing Association code of ethics are articulated clearly. The goals of the American Nursing Association code of ethics are to ensure that nurses carry out their moral obligation to the patients, community and themselves (ANA, 2009). The ethical responsibilities are articulated clearly in the code of ethics.

Besides having clearly articulated goals the American Nursing Association has a clearly expressed vision statement: The American Nursing Association is charged with situating the policy in healthcare, the healthcare setting, patient care and all other areas of nursing involvement. The discipline of nursing requires extensive study and understanding of social, cultural, and ethical influences in patient care. The study and understanding of nursing ethics gives the nurse a unique perspective in addressing human values, autonomy, and dignity with patients. Education and preventive counseling are vital and necessary parts of nursing as they improve the care of patients of all ages. Nurses can choose a wide compass of practice or more focused compass of practice from basic healthcare to concentration in a particular area of specialization.

Ethical PrinciplesThe American Nursing Association code of ethics for nursing has nine major ethical foundations. These ethical foundations help nurses determine between what is good or bad and right or wrong behavior. The nine major ethical foundations that nurses use to guide them when making decisions are the respect and needs of the patient, respect for patient choice, confidentiality and dignity of patients, accountability and responsibility of nursing, wholeness and preservation of the integrity of character, responsibility of the healthcare environment, advancement of the profession of nursing, promotes community, national, international health needs, responsibility of articulating nursing values.

The respect and needs of the patient must not be discriminated against by the nurse because of race, religion, or cultural origin. The need for healthcare is universal and nurses deliver services with respect for human needs and values. These measures of care enable the patient to live with the physical, emotional, social and spiritual well being (Post, 2006).

The respect for patient choice holds the uniqueness of the patient, and family members, therefore, a nursing plan of care must reflect that uniqueness. Nurses must examine their own personal agenda's in personal and professional values, the values of others involved in patient care, along with the values and interest of the patient. Nurses must strive for the resolution of conflict in a way that ensures patient safety and patient interest while preserving the integrity of the nursing profession (Post, 2006).


References: remgen, Bonnie (2006) Medical Law and Ethics (2nd edition), Prentice-Hall Pearson Education Inc. retrieved August 16, 2009 from University of Phoenix course materials.
Post, Stephen (2006) Code of Ethics for Nursing (3rd edition), Encyclopedia of Bioethics, Vol. 5 p. 2749-2756 retrieved August 25, 2009 from gale power search, Apollo Library American Nurses Association (2009) Caring for those who care, Nursing World. Retrieved August 26, 2009 from
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