The Code of Ethics of the American Nurses Association


The Code of Ethics developed by the American Nurses Association is aimed at protecting the wellbeing of patients and promoting the improvement in the healthcare environments. It is a document that should guide the behavior and decisions of nursing professionals. In this case, ethics can be viewed as a set of values as well as principles that influence the relations between medical workers, and patients, their relatives, as well as the community, in general (Daly, Speedy, & Jackson, 2009, p. 147). Overall, the use of this code can be better illustrated by examining the provisions of this document since they highlight the purposes of this code. These are the main issues that should be discussed in greater detail.

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Provision One: Respect for the dignity of an individual

Overall, this code of ethics highlights the way in a nurse should treat people with whom he/she interacts. In particular, these medical workers should not disregard the values and lifestyles of a person (American Nurses Association, 2001, p. 3). Furthermore, they need to make sure that the disease does not dehumanize a person. These examples illustrate that the code guides the relationship between nurses and patients. To some degree, this provision is vital for protecting the wellbeing of a person who seeks medical assistance. Patients should feel that their individuality is valued by medical workers.

Provision Three: Protection of the rights, health, and safety of an individual

Additionally, the nurse should make sure that a patient has access to the most appropriate healthcare. Moreover, they need to ensure that the confidential information about the patient is not disclosed to any third parties (Benjamin & Curtis, 2010, p. 82). Furthermore, nurses should inform hospital administrators about questionable medical practices that can adversely affect the life of a person. Thus, one can say that this code highlights the main obligations of nursing professionals. Moreover, it is aimed at eliminating possible threats to the health of a patient. This is one of the main goals that should be attained.

Provision Six: Improving healthcare environments

Additionally, this code contains a requirement according to which nursing professionals should identify and eliminate those factors that can pose a threat to the health of factors (American Nurses Association, 2001, p. 3). For example, they may work on such a task as the reduction of patients’ falls within a hospital. Moreover, they need to put a stop to unethical practices that can be adopted within a hospital. Thus, a nurse should not act as a passive observer of the policies, established within a hospital (American Nurses Association, 2001). More likely, he/she should be involved in policy-making (Benjamin & Curtis, 2010). Overall, the code developed by the American Nurses Association is aimed at promoting continuous improvement in the functioning of various medical institutions.


Overall, this discussion shows that the Code of Ethics introduced by the American Nurses Association can serve several important functions, namely the protection of patients’ dignity, promotion of their safety, and improvement of healthcare environments. This set of principles is important for ensuring that a person who relies on the assistance of nurses, can receive appropriate services. The values and norms embedded in this code should be endorsed by the hospital administrators. Furthermore, medical workers should use this document as a guide when they need to make decisions. These are the main points that can be made.

Reference List

American Nurses Association. (2001). Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements. Web.

Benjamin, M., & Curtis, J. (2010). Ethics in Nursing: Cases, Principles, and Reasoning. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Daly, J., Speedy, S., & Jackson, D. (2009). Contexts of Nursing. New York, NY: Elsevier Australia.

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