American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics

The main objective of nursing is to have one group of human beings care for another group of vulnerable-human beings. Therefore, patients consider nurses as skilled counterparts who can take care of their (patients) needs professionally. The American Nurses Association (ANA) provides nursing practitioners with a code of ethics that can help them understand how their training promotes client care (Alfaro-LeFevre, 2013).

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The ANA lists nine codes of ethics that act as guidelines for practicing nurses and to the practitioners who are undergoing training. The provision that I find to be most relevant to my nursing practice is Provision 2. This provision states that “the nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group or community” (American Nurses Association, 2011). This provision is important to me because it outlines the most valuable practice in chaotic nursing practice.

Modern nursing is often subjected to several external factors such as economics, moral dilemmas, hierarchical stipulations, and standard practices, among others. Provision 2 outlines the most important aspect of nursing amid other career stipulations. Throughout my practice, I have been able to uphold the practices outlined in provision 2, and this has made my nursing career fruitful and fulfilling. This paper is a review of provision 2 of the ANA Code of Ethics and its manifestation in my nursing experience.

Provision 2 is divided into four aspects of a nurse’s commitment to a patient. The first aspect of provision 2 is the need to ensure that the nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient. This primary commitment should not be selective of an individual, a group, a family, or a community. The second aspect of this provision is the conflict of interest. The modern nursing environment is characterized by conflicting interests from patients, healthcare providers, patients’ families, health insurance companies, and colleagues (Catalano, 2011).

The conflict of interest aspect provides nurses with a means of navigating through conflicting situations. The third aspect of provision 2 addresses collaboration in the nursing field. Provision 2 advises nurses on how to collaborate with other professionals within the nursing field and at the same time maintain their overall commitment to their patients.

According to the third aspect of provision 2, the goal of collaboration in nursing should be to “minimize unwarranted or unwanted treatment and ease patient suffering” (American Nurses Association, 2011). The fourth aspect of provision 2 focuses on nurses’ professional boundaries.

These professional boundaries apply to relationships with both patients and fellow professionals. Furthermore, nurses need to evaluate the part that their professional boundaries play during the alleviation of patients’ suffering. Jeopardizing professional boundaries undermines the concept of full commitment towards the patients’ wellbeing.

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In the course of my practice, I have employed several aspects of ANA’s provision 2. For example, while working in a nursing home for the elderly, this provision enabled me to focus on the uniqueness of my patients. When being offered a job in a nursing home for the elderly, one is offered a list of common practices that apply to the needs of the particular establishment.

However, finding success in a nursing home environment depends on one’s ability to recognize the unique needs of the patients. While I was working in a nursing home, medication times were usually different depending on the needs of individual patients. When I was going around assisting patients with their medications, some readily accepted my help while I had to coerce others. My commitment to recognizing the unique needs of my patients made a task that most of my colleagues shunned quite easy for me.

In my practice, I have failed to uphold the ethics that are outlined in provision 2. This incident happened when a patient’s family sought to push for anti-psychotic medication even though the patient only exhibited mild symptoms of the condition. The family talked to the patient’s psychiatrist and sought to have the patient put under medication.

The family members had briefed me on their plan, and I had reluctantly agreed with them. When the psychiatrist asked for my opinion, I was confused about whether to side with the patient, his family or collaborate with the doctor. I was unable to resolve the conflicting interests, and I ended up siding with the patient’s family. Therefore, I was unable to prioritize the needs of the patient and employ good collaboration techniques with the patient’s psychiatrist.

Provision 2 can help me advance my nursing practice by simply prioritizing the patients’ needs. This simple strategy has various benefits for both my patients and I. Using provision 2; I can be able to offer satisfactory services to patients and adopt easy solutions to everyday problems. For example, I am currently working on my ability to be more assertive.

Provision 2 can help me to be more assertive by helping me to pursue collaboration and the ability to maintain good professional relationships. Furthermore, collaboration and professional relationships can help my colleagues attain ANA’s provision 2.


Alfaro-LeFevre, R. (2013). Critical Thinking, Clinical Reasoning, and Clinical Judgment: A Practical Approach. New York, NY: Elsevier Saunders.

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American Nurses Association. (2011). Provision 2: Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements. Web.

Catalano, J. T. (2011). Nursing Now!: Today’s Issues, Tomorrow’s Trends. New York, NY: FA Davis.

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