American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics

The development of the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics

Nursing is the profession that requires from people not only knowledge of the specific information necessary for the working procedures but also requires them to possess the particular qualities which make patients comfortable. Additional knowledge such as psychology may be also useful for nurses. This profession is extremely important for the whole society and those who believe that nurses are to follow just the professional prescriptions and strategies in treating patients are mistaken. Nurses have a specific association that gathers all the certified nurses and follows their practice. Additionally, the particular code of ethics has been developed with the purpose to avoid misunderstanding and make sure that all the nurses understand what it means to work in the medical sphere and help others.

The development of the modern American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics as any other document was developed in several stages. The father of the code of ethics is considered to be Florence Nightingale who wrote a pledge in 1860. Many people believe that the creation of the American Nursing Association initiated the development of the code of ethics, however, the versa effect is considered.

The organization which existed before the American Nurses Association was called the Nurses Associated Alumnae of the United States and Canada and was founded in 1896. The written code of ethics was reconsidered in 1926 which made it the “suggested one” and then it was revised one more time in 1940 to become a “tentative” one. The Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretative Statements used now was completed in 2001, however, there were about five amendments of the document before it was provided in the modern appearance (Penticuff, 2011). The document consists of nine provisions that are aimed at creating the fundamental principles for nurses.

The value of the ANA Code of Ethics to professional nursing practice

It is important to understand that the whole document as well as each of the provisions are directed at creating appropriate conditions for nurses and making sure that the work of the nurses is properly organized. Considering the importance of the provisions, it should be stated that nine points may be divided into three categories, obligations to practice, duties and loyalty, and obligations in respect to patients (Lachman, 2009a; Lachman, 2009b). These rules regulate the behavior and the way of thinking nurses are to apply. These rules are crucial as they direct new and inexperienced nurses as well as regulate the relationships between patients and nurses. The document is helpful while solving some particular situations which may appear. Finally, the Code serves as the particular ideal for those who have decided to become nurses and devote their lives to treating others.

The 1st and 6th provisions in detail

Even though each of the provisions is important and deserves attention, there are two provisions that I believe should be considered as the central in this Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretative Statements. The first and the sixth statements of provisions are the most important as they are directed at the personal and professional qualities of the nurse and encourage for integrating those for better serving.

The first provision declares the following, “The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes or the nature of health problems” (Lachman, 2009a, p. 55). This provision states that nurses are to respect patients, distribute resources fairly, and be unprejudiced. This provision also refers to the importance of communicating with colleagues which are also important. This provision is also valued for the elimination of discrimination among nurses and patients.

The sixth provision sounds as follows, “The nurse participates in establishing, maintaining, and improving health care environments and conditions of employment conducive to the provision of quality health care and consistent with the values of the profession through individual and collective action(Lachman, 2009b, p. 192). The main idea of this provision is to show the moral virtues and values of the nurses. Each person follows the moral rules he/she has been considering from childhood, the document and this provision in particular try to make sure that the moral virtues and values nurses consider are the same. It is important in eliminating instances of discrimination.

Therefore, it may be concluded that the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretative Statements which was finally completed in 2001 is the document that regulates the relationships between patients and nurses, the relationships of nurses inside their community, and the attitude of the nurses to their profession. All these components and relations are perfectly regulated in the document under discussion and in case of any problem or correspondence, the conflict may be decided based on this document. Still, the main idea of this Code is to make sure that nurses and the community have the ideals they are trying to follow. Nursing is a very responsible profession where ethical norms are to be followed without any contradiction.

Reference List

Lachman, V. D. (2009a). Practical Use of the Nursing Code of Ethics: Part I. MEDSURG Nursing, 18(1), 55-57.

Lachman, V. D. (2009b). Practical Use of the Nursing Code of Ethics: Part II. MEDSURG Nursing, 18(3), 191-194.

Penticuff, J. (2011). Codes of Ethics and Care at the Bedside: The Nurse’s Dilemma. International Journal of Pharmacy Education & Practice, 7(1), 19-27.

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