Code of Ethics
A code of ethics is a formal statement of a group’s ideals and values. It is a set of ethical principles that
· Is shared by the members of the group
· Reflects their moral judgments’ over time
· Serves as a standard for their professional actions.
International Council of Nurses Code of ethics & Professional conduct for nurse
It has four principal elements that outline the standards of ethical conduct.
· Nurses and people
· Nurses and practice
· Nurses and profession
· Nurses and co-workers
Nurses and people:
· The nurse’s primary professional responsibility is to people requiring nursing care.
· In providing care, the nurse promotes an environment in which the human rights, values, customs and spiritual beliefs of the individual, family and community are respected.
· The nurse ensures that the individual receives accurate, sufficient and timely information on which to base consent for care and related treatment.
· The nurse holds in confidence personal information and uses judgment in sharing this information.
· The nurse shares with society the responsibility for initiating and supporting action to meet the health and social needs of the public, in particular those of vulnerable populations.
· The nurse advocates for equity and social justice in resource allocation, access to health care and other social and economic services.
· The nurse demonstrates professional values such as respectfulness, responsiveness, compassion, trustworthiness and integrity.
Nurses and practice:
· The nurse carries personal responsibility and accountability for nursing practice, and for maintaining competence by continual learning.
· The nurse maintains a standard of personal health such that the ability to provide care is not compromised.
· The nurse uses judgment regarding individual competence when accepting and delegating responsibility.
· The nurse at all times maintains standards of personal conduct the reflect well on the profession and enhance public confidence.
· The nurse, in providing care, ensures that use of technology and scientific advances are compatible with the safety, dignity and rights of people.
· The nurse strives to foster and maintain a practice culture promoting ethical behaviour and open dialogue.
Nurses and the profession:
· The nurse assumes the major role in determining and implementing acceptable standards of clinical nursing practice, management, research and education.
· The nurse is active in developing a core of research-based professional knowledge that supports evidence-based practice.
· The nurse is active in developing and sustaining a core of professional values.
Nurses and the profession:
· The nurse, acting through the professional organization, participates in creating a positive practice environment and maintaining safe, equitable social and economic working conditions in nursing.
· The nurse practices to sustain and protect the natural environment and is aware of its consequences on health.
· The nurse contributes to an ethical organisational environment and challenges unethical practices and settings.
Nurses and co-workers:
· The nurse sustains a collaborative and respectful relationship with co-workers in nursing and other fields.
· The nurse takes appropriate action to safeguard individuals, families and communities when their care is endangered by a co-worker or any other person.
· The nurse takes appropriate action to support and guide co-workers to advance ethical conduct.
Code of Ethics for Nurses in INDIA (2006)
1. The nurse respects the uniqueness of individual in provision of care
· Provides care for individuals without consideration of caste, creed, religion, culture, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic and political status, personal attributes, or any other grounds.
· Individualizes the care considering the beliefs, values and cultural sensitivities.
· Appreciates the place of individual in the family and community and facilitates participation of significant others in the care.
· Develops and promotes trustful relationship with individual (s)
· Recognizes uniqueness of response of individuals to interventions and adapts accordingly.
2. The nurse respects the rights of individuals as partner in care and help in making informed choice
· Appreciates individuals right to make decisions about their care and therefore gives adequate and accurate information for enabling them to make informed choices
· Respects the decisions made by individual (s) regarding their care
· Protects public from misinformation and misinterpretations
· Advocates special provisions to protect vulnerable individuals/ groups
3. The nurse respects individual’s right to privacy, maintains confidentiality, and shares information judiciously.
· Respects the individuals’ right to privacy of their personal information
· Maintains confidentiality of privileged information except in the life threatening situations and uses discretion in sharing information
· Takes informed consent and maintains anonymity when information is required for quality assurance/ academic/legal reasons
· Limits the access to all personal records written and computerized to authorized persons only.
4. Nurse maintains competence in order to render Quality Nursing Care
· Nursing care must be provided only by registered nurse
· Nurse strives to maintain quality nursing care and upholds the standards of care.
· Nurse values continuing education, initiates and utilizes all opportunities for self development
· Nurse values research as a means of development of nursing profession and participates in nursing research adhering to ethical principles.
5. The nurse if obliged to practice within the framework of ethical, professional and legal boundaries
· Adheres to code of ethics and code of professional conduct for nurses in India developed by Indian Nursing Council
· Familiarizes with relevant laws and practices in accordance with the law of the state.
6. Nurse is obliged to work harmoniously with members of the health team.
· Appreciates the team efforts in rendering care
· Cooperates, coordinates and collaborates with members of the health team to meet the needs of people
7. Nurse commits to reciprocate the trust invested in nursing profession by society
· Demonstrates personal etiquettes in all dealings
· Demonstrates professional attributes in all dealings.