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National Council of State Boards of Nursing

NCSBN Website and Ethics Sources

The website of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is easy to navigate due to its comprehensive menus and searching possibilities. It contains a bulk of materials that are related to ethical nursing conduct. For example, it includes the NCSBN (2012) rules of conduct that embrace the ethical guidelines supported by the Council; similarly, it provides advice for their implementation, for instance, in the presentation by Felicia Stokes (n.d.).

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Also, NCSBN (n.d.; 2014) considers it necessary to devote specific booklets to the professional and ethical use of social media and the issue of professional boundaries that is admittedly related to ethics. Apart from that, NCSBN (2016) recommends ethics courses for nurses. Finally, the website offers numerous peer-reviewed nursing articles, some of which are devoted to ethical practice and may also be accessed freely. To sum up, the NCSBN website is capable of providing extensive information on the ethics of nursing practice.


According to Makaroff, Storch, Pauly, and Newton (2014), nursing ethics (especially with respect to ethical leadership) has been relatively underrepresented in the research of past decades, which indicates a diminished interest in the topic. However, its importance seems to be apparent, and this paper is going to consider the aspects of ethical nursing practice that NCSBN appears to focus on and attempt to link them to nursing leadership.

Ethical conduct is repeatedly mentioned in the NCSBN (2012) model rules; the same document insists that nursing education must include the topic of ethics (pp. 12, 15, 16, 26, 27, 38). In short, the basic provisions promoted by NCSBN include being compassionate and respectful towards patients, being committed to their interests, and protecting and advocating for their rights and safety.

However, a nurse owes the same dignity to herself or himself, which also finds its expression in maintaining one’s personal and professional growth and improving one’s workplace (Stokes, n.d.). I think that all these provisions are in line with the idea of nursing leadership as well as the empowerment of nurses. By fostering self-respect, these guidelines provide the nurses with the ability and desire to improve themselves, their working conditions, the lives of the patients, and the society in general (which is supported by the idea of advocating for significant aspects of nursing practice and human rights).

These ideas appear to foster shared leadership style, which is considered suitable for the nursing environment (Rogers, 2014), but do not demand it. Similarly, ethical leadership (that does not exclude the possibility of shared style and is compatible with it) requires supporting and empowering employees (Makaroff et al., 2014). To sum up, NCSBN ideas of ethical conduct appear to promote positive nursing leadership practices.

It is also noteworthy that NCSBN (n.d.; 2014) singled out specific aspects of nursing practice ethics. The choice of the issue of professional boundaries is understandable and does not demand specific comments, although the booklet of NCSBN (2014) is worth studying since the persistence of the problem implies that it is challenging and requires awareness. However, it is noteworthy that the second booklet is devoted to social media.

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It focuses on the issue of avoiding unintended information disclosure and breaches of confidentiality. Also, it improves nurses’ awareness by describing the way information finds its way through the Internet. For example, NCSBN (n.d.) specifically emphasizes the fact that deleting a post does not make it completely inaccessible (p. 11). As our society develops and the technological progress changes our reality, we need to consider possible implications.

It is apparent that social media has become a significant part of our lives. Therefore, it is especially important to study it. As we use it as a tool for one’s practice, a source of information, and a means of relaxation, we need to consider the possible consequences and avoid the breach of ethics that can follow from the use of social media.


Makaroff, K., Storch, J., Pauly, B., & Newton, L. (2014). Searching for ethical leadership in nursing. Nursing Ethics, 21(6), 642-658. Web.

NCSBN. (n.d.). A Nurse’s Guide to the Use of Social Media.

NCSBN. (2012). NCSBN Model Rules.

NCSBN. (2014). A Nurse’s Guide to Professional Boundaries.

NCSBN. (2016). Ethics of Nursing Practice. Web.

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Rogers, J. (2014). Reinventing Shared Leadership to Support Nursing’s Evolving Role in Healthcare. Nurse Leader, 12(2), 29-43.

Stokes, F. (n.d.). Use of Code of Ethics and the Nurse Practice Act. Web.

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