Professional Organizations and Ethics in Nursing

Professional organizations in nursing

The given article dwells upon the role of professional organizations in nursing, reviewing their activities from the historical perspective. The author sums up the key features of the profession, provides a list of organizations formed since 1873, and classifies them according to their activities (Matthews, 2012). Furthermore, the article touches upon the impact of the major documents related to the profession.

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I agree with the researcher that professional associations should promote the significance of comprehensive membership, teamwork, and active participation in all issues related to nursing. This idea is supported by the fact that nurses of the previous centuries understood that the changes happening in the society could not be handled by separate professionals. United effort is required for successful adaptation to transforming realities. Each member of a professional organization must be committed to the common deed and realize his/her contribution to shaping the image of the profession.

I believe that the only limitation of the article is its excessive reliance on a retrospective analysis. Although it provides a clear and well-structured classification of nursing associations supported by a detailed discussion of their roles, there is practically no insight into the current state of the art. The most modern of the reviewed organizations was founded in 2008. Moreover, the article would benefit from tracking changes occurring to professional nursing associations. There are a lot of issues concerning their membership, goals, vision, and activities that could be compared with the present day.

I am convinced that such studies are essential for the development of the profession since they make nurses and future nurses realize the importance of their mission as to change agents. Furthermore, studies devoted to professional organizations stress collaboration as the pivotal issue in nursing, which adds practical significance to their theoretical contribution.

Professional Organizations and Ethics

The role of professional bodies in guiding ethics in health care of today is hard to overestimate. Each nursing association has a historically proven code of ethics to make it clear for both insiders and outsiders what responsibilities they have to each other and to the society (Cannaerts, Gastmans, & Casterlé, 2014). In other words, they outline standards that the profession has to meet. Besides educating members on their roles and duties, organizations communicate their mission to the public and provide a framework for ethical behavior.

For example, the American Academy of Ophthalmology regularly releases statements related to professional ethics. They contain valuable advisory opinions of influential health care professionals that could be used by nurses when they try to solve ethical dilemmas at work (Huston, 2013).

American Medical Association publishes opinions of the council on ethical and judicial issues, which are related to ethical challenges in professional relationships, advertising, media, research, etc. (Grace, 2017). The discussion of debatable topics is necessary to provide patterns to solve this or that type of ethical conflict.

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American Psychological Association covers even a wider range of topics. The most crucial one for the profession is the relationship between ethics and law in health care. The association provides ethical guidelines not only for the actual treatment of patients but also for information services rendered via the Internet or telephone (Grace, 2017).

The authority of the organization typically determines its ability to influence professional ethics on a large scale. For associations to guide ethics in health care, it is essential that their policy should be supported by expert opinions in the field. The effectiveness of their standards and methods must be proven by practical application in clinical settings.


Cannaerts, N., Gastmans, C., & Casterlé, B. D. D. (2014). Contribution of ethics education to the ethical competence of nursing students: Educators’ and students’ perceptions. Nursing Ethics, 21(8), 861-878.

Grace, P. J. (2017). Nursing ethics and professional responsibility in advanced practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Huston, C. J. (2013). Professional issues in nursing: Challenges and opportunities. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Matthews, J. (2012). Role of professional organizations in advocating for the nursing profession. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(3), 1-11.

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