N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide Codes of Ethics A code of ethics is a statement of ideal behavior made by professional groups. Through their professional organizations, nurses have developed some common guidelines to use in making ethical decisions. They are contained in the ANA’s code for nurses and the International Council of Nurses code for nurses. Each attempts to outline the nurse’s responsibilities to the patient and to the profession of nursing. ANA Code for Nurses The ANA is unique among professional codes, because it addresses specific issues and does not confine itself to matters of etiquette or broad general statements. The Code of Ethics project was initiated by the ANA Board of Directors and the Congress on Nursing Practice in 1995. A task force was appointed in 1996 to analyze and revise the Code for Nurses of 1985. In July 2001, the Congress of Nursing Practice and Economics voted to accept new language of the interpretive statements resulting in a fully approved revised Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements. In 2015, designated as the “year of ethics,” the Code of Ethics was revised again. The primary provisions of the ANA Code for Nurses include: • The nurse practices with compassion and respect for the worth and dignity of each human being. • The nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient. • The nurse is an advocate to protect the health, safety, and rights of the patient. • The nurse is responsible and accountable for individual competency and delegation of tasks. • The nurse acts as a safeguard to protect the patient from any incompetent, unethical, or illegal practitioner. • The nurse is accountable and responsible for her own actions and judgment. • The nurse participates in improving standards. • The nurse maintains her competence in nursing. • The nurse uses her judgment, competence, and qualifications in order to seek consultation, accept responsibility, and assign nursing tasks. • The nurse takes part in research. • The nurse works to protect the public from false information and to maintain the integrity of nursing. • The nurse collaborates with others in order to meet the health needs of the public. • The nurse participates in improving work conditions. The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses (2015) • The nurse practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth, and unique attributes of every person.