Nursing Code of Ethics Essay

Words: 1058
Pages: 5

Nursing Code of Ethics


Butts and Rich (1-26) point out that effective nursing requires both broad knowledge and a set of well developed abilities and skills. The required tasks, are many and varied and in order to do them properly, care must be taken to respect each patient's rights and sensitivities. This is why, according to the authors, nursing care must be guided by a code of ethics. The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview and discussion of the "Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements" developed by the American Association of Nurses (ANA 1-2).

Content and Clarity of the Code

The ANA's Code of Ethics (1-2) consists of several ethical statements called provisions. There are a total
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Strengths and Weaknesses and Usefulness of the Code

Burkhardt (146-159) states that the ANA's Code of Ethics is very useful to nurses, primarily due to its clarity. It provides broad principles which its interpretive statements allow to be applied to a wide variety of specific situations. Moreover, Burkhardt (146-159) points out that the Code of Ethics can serve to empower nursing students and new nurses by helping them to understand their degree of autonomy, the significance of their professional status and all of the responsibilities that accompany both autonomy and status. Further, the Code is said to provide a framework against which nurses can build and formulate ethical decisions about their daily practice and so live up to the trust that society has placed in them.

Regarding the strengths of the ANA's Code of Ethics, Burkhardt (146-159) reports that clarity is one of its main strengths. However, it also is said to derive strength from the fact that it has been repeatedly amended and revised over several decades based on real-life practices that nurses encounter. Another strength, according to Burkhardt (146-159), is said to be that it incorporates in its language and principles concerns relevant to contemporary nursing. It's weakness is that the Code is relatively short.


Over the last 50 years, the American Association of Nurses has held that the establishment of a Nursing Code of Ethics is an integral part of the profession.