Each person, upon entering the nursing profession, inherits a measure of the responsibility and trust associated with the profession, along with the corresponding obligation to adhere to the standards of ethical practice and conduct it has set. Nursing students are expected to show responsibility in their behavior; to deal with faculty, peers, patients, and clinical staff in a direct and honest manner; and to be professional in their conduct.
Students who violate accepted standards for professional nursing may be discharged from the program. The Code of Ethics for Nurses was adopted by the American Nurses Association in 1950 and revised in 1960, 1968, 1976, 1985, and 2001 (Reissued in 2010).
The nurse practices with compassion and respect for inherent dignity, worth and unique attributes of every person.
1.1 Respect for Human Dignity
1.2 Relationships with Patients
1.3 The Nature of Health
1.4 The Right to Self-Determination
1.5 Relationships with Colleagues and Others
The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family group, community or population
2.1 Primacy of the Patient's Interests
2.2 Conflict of Interest for Nurses
2.4 Professional Boundaries
The nurse promotes, advocates for, and protects the rights, health, and safety of the patient.
3.1 Protection of the Rights of Privacy and Confidentiality
3.2 Protection of Human Participants in Research
3.3 Performance Standards and Review Mechanisms
3.4 Professional Responsibility in Promoting a Culture of Safety
3.5 Protection of Patient Health and Safety by Acting on Questionable Practice
3.6 Patient Protection and Impaired Practice
The nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice: makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to promote health and to provide optimal care.
4.1 Authority, Accountability, and Responsibility
4.2 Accountability for Nursing Judgments, Decisions, and Actions
4.3 Responsibility for Nursing Judgments, Decisions, and Actions
4.4 Assignment and Delegation of Nursing Activities or Tasks
The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibility to promote health and safety, preserve wholeness of character and integrity, maintain competence, and continue personal and professional growth.
5.1 Duties to Self and Others
5.2 Promotion of Personal Health, Safety, and Well-Being
5.3 Preservation of Wholeness of Character
5.4 Preservation of Integrity
5.5 Maintenance of Competence and Continuation of Professional Growth
5.6 Continuation of Personal Growth
The nurse, through individual and collective effort, establishes, maintains, and improves the ethical environment of the work settings and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care.
6.1 The Environment and Moral Virtue
6.2 The Environment and Ethical Obligation
6.3 Responsibility for the Healthcare Environment
The nurse, in all roles and settings, advances the profession through research and scholarly inquiry, professional standards development, and the generation of both nursing and health policy.
7.1 Contributions through Research and Scholarly Inquiry
7.2 Contributions through Developing, Maintaining, and Implementing Professional Practice Standards
7.3 Contributions through Nursing and Health Policy Development
The nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities.
8.1 Health Is a Universal Right
8.2 Collaboration for Health, Human Rights, and Health Diplomacy
8.3 Obligation to Advance Health and Human Rights and Reduce Disparities
8.4 Collaboration for Human Rights in Complex, Extreme, or Extraordinary Practice Settings
The profession of nursing, collectively through its professional organizations, must articulate nursing values, maintain the integrity of the profession, and integrate principles of social justice into nursing and health policy.
9.1 Articulation and Assertion of Values
9.2 Integrity of the Profession
9.3 Integrating Social Justice
9.4 Social Justice in Nursing and Health Policy