In collaboration with other healthcare providers, nurses play an invariable role in hospitals and other care centers. Nurses are caregivers and advocates for all patients, regardless of their ethnicity, economic or social status, and religious affiliation. They contribute to the treatment of various health conditions, prevent illnesses, and manage patients’ physical needs. The Code of Ethics for Nurses is an instrumental resource that sets nursing practice standards and guides decision-making and ethical analysis. This paper describes two tenets of the Code of Ethics for Nurses, provision 2 and provision 6, their application, and the importance of upholding them.
The provision accentuates that nurses’ primary commitment is to patients, whether a population, individual, community, group, or family. The tenet addresses patient interests’ primacy, collaboration, conflict of interest, and professional boundaries (Brunt, 2016). The tenet helps nurses commit to addressing the unique interests of patients without discrimination. For instance, they involve patients in planning and implementing care to ensure that services and support are acceptable. It also helps resolve conflicts that can arise between nurses’ professional and personal values and those of others involved in healthcare decisions. For example, nurses identify and avoid conflicts of interest as they execute their responsibilities to guarantee patient safety and enhanced outcomes.
The tenet further encourages nurses to nurture collaborative care planning, as well as high-quality and patient-centered care. For example, nurses and other healthcare professionals cultivate collaboration through respect, mutual trust, transparency, open communication, shared decision-making, and recognition. Lastly, the tenet guides nurses on avoiding violations of professional boundaries that can be caused by various factors like mutual dependence of healthcare workers, nurses’ involvement in highly stressful and essential life events, and the friendly nature of nursing care (Epstein & Turner, 2015). For instance, nurses seek assistance from supervisors or peers to manage challenging situations or take appropriate actions that decrease the possibility of professional boundary violation.
The tenet focuses on the nurse’s obligation to establish, maintain, and enhance ethical working conditions and employment environment, beneficial to quality and safe health care. The tenet defines nurses’ mandate to establish moral environments and expand the meaning of nursing virtues (Brunt, 2016). For example, they achieve morally acceptable environments, facilitating nurses’ virtuousness by portraying attributes such as wisdom, skills, courage, honesty, compassion, and patience. Additionally, the tenet accentuates nurses’ ethical obligation to develop, maintain, and contribute to nursing environments needed to help them and others fulfil their responsibilities. For example, nurses develop policies and procedures, clearly showing nurses’ ethical expectations (Brunt, 2016). Further, it helps nurses understand their responsibility for the healthcare environment to ensure mutual peer support, collaborative solving of difficult issues, and respectful interaction among coworkers. For instance, they address concerns about inappropriate practices or activities through suitable channels in the facilities.
The Importance of Upholding the Tenets
Upholding these tenets maximize the quality of patient care in different ways. Nurses collaborate with other healthcare workers to provide patient-centered care, improving quality and patient outcomes. Effective communication, transparency, and shared decision-making ensure that patients get appropriate care and treatment. Establishing and maintaining suitable environments for ethical nursing practice promotes care providers and the patients’ well-being, enhancing nurses’ satisfaction. The tenets enhance nurses’ practice through respect, mutual trust, transparency, open communication, shared decision-making, and recognition.
In conclusion, the Code of Ethics for Nurses is an instrumental resource that sets nursing practice standards and guides decision-making and ethical analysis. Provision two of the tenets accentuates that nurses’ primary commitment is to patients, whether a population, individual, community, group, or family. Provision six focuses on the nurse’s obligation to establish, maintain, and enhance ethical working conditions and employment environment, beneficial to quality and safe health care.
Brunt, B. (2016). Everyday ethics: A look at ANA’s updated code of ethics and the everyday challenges nurses face. Ohio Nurses Review, 91(2), 14–16.
Epstein, B., & Turner, M. (2015). The nursing code of ethics: Its value, its history. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(2), 4.