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Codes of Ethics, Nursing, and Professional Skills Development


The Code of Ethics is one of the essential elements of the profession for any specialist in any field. This statement is especially relevant for nurses since the lives of many people depend on them. That is why understanding and following the Code of Ethics provisions are student nurses’ primary duties. The author of this paper aims to analyze Provision 1 from the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements and other literature, to understand how Codes of Ethics contribute to the development of professional skills.

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Provision 1 Analysis

Provision 1 Description

Provision 1 describes how nurses should care and treat patients. According to the American Nursing Association (2015), “a fundamental that underlines all nursing practice is respect for inherent dignity, works, unique attributes, and human rights of all individuals” (p. 1). It means that each person deserves to receive nursing care, and nurses should respect patients, their families, and relatives during the practice. Care should be based on such principles, as the patient’s life is a value, the nurse’s professionalism, harm prevention, and the patient’s moral and cultural background. The patient’s opinion is paramount for treatment and palliative care. Civility and altruism are the basis for the dialogue between the patient and the health care institution.

Provision 1 Reflection

Provision 1 provides essential information for novice nursing specialists. It is the understanding that the nurse is, in some way, a bridge between patients and healthcare institutions. Practically, nurses apply a unique combined methodology that considers both the cultural, moral, and biological aspects of patients. Therefore, a competent nurse should have skills from both humanities and STEM fields (Banner et al., 2019). It means that as a nursing specialist, I am obliged to apply all psychology, sociology, philosophy, theology, and history knowledge that are available to me to better the communication with the patients, which consequently will provide appropriate care.

Codes of Ethics Analysis

Target Audiences and Purposes of Codes

The review of the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements shows that the target audience are Registered Nurses. It is indicated by the recommendations regarding palliative care, patients informing, setting, and emotional support for the patients and their families (American Nursing Association, 2015). These functions are primary specifically for Registered Nurses (Hickman et al., 2016). The ANA Code sets out the ethical and moral principles that nurses should follow in their practice. It can be said that The National Student Nurses Code of Ethics is also for Registered Nurses as well as for nurse managers and nursing administrators (National Student Nurses’ Association, 2017). The NSNA Code is a guideline for nurses on leadership skills and legal norms in nursing practice. The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses targets three categories of nursing professionals, such as nurse practitioners, nurse managers, and nurse educators (International Council of Nurses, 2012). The ICN Code describes and explains to nurses what ethical and legal standards should be followed globally.

Health Disparities and Social Justice

Each of the Codes pays special attention to the topics of health disparities and social justice. The ANA Code states that nurses should respect patients’ health status and adjust care according to their health factors to avoid any harm (American Nursing Association, 2015). Nurses should also respect the patients’ social status and advocate for their moral and legal rights, where the patient’s right to self-determination is paramount. (American Nursing Association, 2015). The NSNA Code recognizes that each patient has unique physiological characteristics and that everyone has equal access to nursing care (National Student Nurses’ Association, 2017). It also encourages nurses to fight discrimination based on various social, legal or biological grounds (National Student Nurses’ Association, 2017). Nurses should also practice and advocate for the rights of patients, their families, and colleagues within ethical, moral, and legal frameworks. This ICN Code states that nurses should pay particular attention to vulnerable populations regarding health disparities (International Council of Nurses, 2012). Nurses must also advocate for social equity, especially in terms of resource allocation and health care services accessibility.

The Codes and Professional Growth

Each of the reviewed Codes is of particular value to health care and nursing professionals. The ANA Code is essential for student nurses because it sets out the fundamental principles that all future nursing professionals, regardless of specialization, must understand and adhere to. The NSNA Code provides already established professionals with the basics and nuances of leadership, organization, and legislative practice that are important for personal and career development. The ICN Code provides nurses with a detailed view of the global nursing community’s ethical and legal standards, which is important in terms of practice, education, and international cooperation.


This work examines three Codes of Ethics, namely, the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, The National Student Nurses Code of Ethics, and The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses. The purpose of this analysis was to obtain new knowledge that will help the author in further professional growth. It was also found that each of the three Codes has both general recommendations for all nursing specialists and specific guidance.

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American Nursing Association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Silver Spring.

Banner, O., Carlin, N., & Cole, T. R. (Eds.). (2019). Teaching health humanities. Oxford University Press.

Hickman, L. D., Neville, S., Fischer, T., Davidson, P. M., & Phillips, J. L. (2016). Call to action: greater investment in the registered nurse role is required to improve care outcomes for dementia patients living in residential aged care and their families. Contemporary Nurse: a Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 52(2/3), 137-139.

International Council of Nurses. (2012). The ICN code of ethics for nurses. ICN.

National Student Nurses’ Association. (2017). The national student nurses code of ethics. National Student Nurses’ Association, Inc.

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