The profession of nurse is frequently underestimated in terms of its significance in the patient treatment process. However, even though a doctor takes more responsibility for direct medical interference, it is the nurse who ensures proper communication and patient care. For this reason, nursing implies a number of moral, ethical, and legal codes that give the employees directions on how to cope with such a responsibility.
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Researchers claim that the existing regulations help both nurses and administration set proper expectations and evaluation of one’s work (Snelling, 2016). The purpose of this paper is to identify major nursing ethical standards and moral conduct codes as well as to demonstrate a personal understanding of the issue.
The modern version of a nursing profession, followed by a considerable number of standards and regulations, appeared as an aftermath of World War II. Since then, nursing has become more of a self-regulating profession as the employees now have compilations of both ethical and legal requirements they are obliged to execute. In the US, for example, all the nurses have to be well aware of the Code of Ethics for Nurses, developed by the American Nurses Association (“Ethics and Human Rights,” 2020).
The Code of Ethics consists of various provisions dedicated to both ethical and legal aspects of direct collaboration with patients, other professionals, and the personal rights and freedoms of a nurse. Although all the regulations listed in the code are presented descriptively, they are to be executed with little exception. As all the statements of the code are followed by detailed explanations, future specialists like me have the opportunity to meet all the profession’s requirements by means of self-regulation instead of constant supervision.
Considering all the regulations and guidelines nurses are to follow while working, it should be mentioned that the process of decision-making as an integral part of nurses’ responsibilities is difficult to execute properly. For the sake of objectivity, various researchers over the last decades had been trying to estimate an appropriate decision-making framework, which would satisfy nursing requirements.
Hence, one of the most significant frameworks at the moment are the ones presented by the American Nursing Association and Velasquez et al. (Mallari & Tariman, 2017). The first framework implies giving the ethical responsibility to every individual entering the nursing profession. In such a way, nurses are obliged to adhere to the code of ethics every time they are to make a serious decision concerning a patient.
Another framework, on the contrary, limits the decision-making process by step-be-step instructions instead of ethical regulations. Thus, while making a decision, the nurse should recognize the issue, collect the necessary data, evaluate alternative problem solutions, and test the decision before its direct implementation (Mallari & Tariman, 2017). After the execution, the nurse has to reflect upon the situation again in order to either apply the decision in the future or avoid its implementation. Speaking of the future of nursing, this proficiency, when applied wisely and continuously developed, is of great value for the occupation and medical sphere in general.
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Taking everything into consideration, it could be concluded that ethical, moral, and legal standards of conduct, designed for nurses, require full dedication to the job. In order to provide patients with proper care, future nurses should, first of all, realize the level of responsibility they will take once they decide to apply for the job. Speaking of personal understanding of the issue, during the research, I have realized that the qualities required for the nursing profession need to be developed throughout the process of learning along with academic knowledge.
Ethics and Human Rights. (2020). Web.
Mallari, G., & Tariman, J. D. (2017). Ethical frameworks for decision-making in nursing practice and research: An integrative literature review. Journal of Nursing Practice Applications & Reviews of Research, 7(1), 50-57.
Snelling, P. C. (2016). The metaethics of nursing codes of ethics and conduct. Nursing Philosophy, 17(4), 229-249.