Code of Professional Behavior and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives
The Code of Professional Behavior and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives
Why have a Code of Professional Behavior and Ethics for Nurses and Midwives
A Code of Professional Behavior and Ethics:
Identifies the fundamental ethical standards and values to which the nursing profession is committed.
- Provides nurses and midwives with a reference point from which to reflect on the conduct of themselves and others.
- Guides ethical decision-making and practice.
Nurses and midwives hold a unique and privileged relationship with patients. Patient must be able to trust nurses and midwives to keep them safe and to protect them from harm. Patients must be able to trust nurses and midwives to be safe and competent practitioners. Nurses and midwives must establish trusting relationships with their patients to effectively provide care. This involves using personal information, providing emotional support and physical comfort. Nurses and midwives must also take care not to abuse their position of trust.
Patients become partners in their own care when they receive and understand enough information to make decisions about their own care, to exercise choices based on provided information and are fully involved in their care. This means that patients’ independence, views and preferences must be taken into account, especially when the patient has limited knowledge, is vulnerable or is part of a marginalized group.
Nurses and midwives are personally accountable for their actions and any omissions in their practice. Nurses and midwives must be able to justify their decisions. Being honest, acting consistently and honoring the commitment to deliver safe and competent care is the basis of establishing patient trust. Integrity means consistently acting according to ethical values and being responsible for one’s actions.