Kevin G. HOOK and Gladys B. WHITE : Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements.

By Kevin G. Hook, M.A., B.S.N., R.N. and Gladys B. White, Ph.D., R.N.

Published in Nursing World, the website of the American Nurses Association.

Although nursing has a long history of an ethic of care, embodied in prior Codes of Ethics, the context in which nurses now practice has changed and expanded. Some historical concepts, such as patient advocacy, have been expanded and new concepts, such as duty to self, have been added in the latest revision of the Code of Ethics for Nurses. In addition, many nurses now fill broader roles than those historically performed at the bedside. For these reasons, nurses may need assistance in ethical decision-making as they practice in both traditional and expanded nursing roles.

The primary purpose of this independent study module is to familiarize nurses with the nine major planks of the current Code and the accompanying interpretive statements. It will orient nurses to the ethical code and how it affects their own nursing practice ; facilitate nurses’ ability to use the Code as a guide ; and demonstrate how it directs the profession of nursing as a whole. In addition, the module will provide nurses with a brief history of the development of the Code of Ethics by the American Nurses Association.

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