Nonmaleficence and Fidelity in Nursing

Nursing is a process of healing, which entangles both physical and mental recovery. In this regard, the nurse should remain compassionate and perceive their patient’s well-being as a main priority. However, the priority is hard to achieve. It requires advanced technical and soft skills, the latter being even more vital sometimes because keeping a patient in high spirits is essentially a condition of their recovery. Among many critical traits, the nurse should be known for nonmaleficence and fidelity.

Nonmaleficence is the essence of the nursing craft as it represents the main rule of medical care that you should not under any circumstances harm your patient. Nonmaleficence unites consciousness, responsibility, and prospectiveness, which results in nurses putting themselves on the line to take the best course of action for the client (Schroeter, 2017). It is equally essential to fidelity, as it encompasses compassion, loyalty, and desire to take a patient’s values into account, which is crucial for a successful recovery. Fidelity stands for prioritizing patients’ well-being and needs, so the skill is rightfully regarded as one of the fundamental duties in nursing.

Naturally, the duties in question are constantly put into practice. Nonmaleficence is expressed daily when a practitioner sets appropriate treatment based on a patient’s diagnosis and practitioner’s experience (Girdler et al., 2019). One of the most prominent scenarios of nonmaleficence being the vital issue is the situation, where no treatment becomes the best course of action. For instance, the nurse may opt for physiological support and recreational practices while caring for the elderly. The sensitive topic of aging and accepting new stages of one’s life, often purposefully not aided by medical interventions, should be treated with utmost nonmaleficence.

An evidence-based approach to nursing is getting recognition, and the method naturally entangles a high level of fidelity, expressed daily. Considering patient’s priorities and values is essential for nurses treating refugees and immigrants (Bronars et al., 2017). A well-designed treatment assists in overcoming disparities bestowed upon this group of patients. In this scenario, the nurse should express fidelity by detecting possible health deterioration and constantly monitoring patients’ nutrition and physiological state as essential factors for a successful recovery. Naturally, they would have to work hard and provide time-consuming treatment, as they take care of patients under extreme stress. Consequently, fidelity becomes a constant feature of sensitive medical treatment.


Bronars, C. A., Hanza, M. M., Meiers, S. J., Patten, C. A., Clark, M. M., Nigon, J. A., Weis, J. A., Wieland, M. L., & Sia, I. G. (2017). Treatment fidelity among family health promoters delivering a physical activity and nutrition intervention to immigrant and refugee families. Health Education & Behavior, 44(2), 262–270. doi: 10.1177/1090198116650668

Girdler, S. J., Girdler, J. E., Tarpada, S. P., & Morris, M. T. (2019). Nonmaleficence in medical training: Balancing patient care and efficient education. Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. 4(2), 129-133. doi: 10.20529/IJME.2018.100.

Schroeter, K. (2017). Ethics in practice: From moral distress to moral resilience. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 24(5), 290-291.