Code of Ethics for Nurses
Ethics originated from the Greeks with a word “ethos”. Ethos means moral duty in modern language. According to one reliable definition about ethics, it refers to a standard to examine and understand moral life. It simply focuses on how people regard what is right or wrong.
Nurses have to encounter ethical issues almost every day in their line of work. Ethics has something to do with making choices that are best for the person, or community at right times and taking responsibility of the results of such choices.
Code of ethics for nurses assumes various versions depending on the organization. For instance, the International Council for Nurses has embraced a code of ethics since 1953. It was in 2006 that it was revised as people and the demands of nursing has changed. This serves as a guide for right actions towards social values and needs. The Code has been the basis of worldwide practice for ethical practice in nursing.
The ICN Code of Ethics serves as the guiding light for professional nurses as they practice their skills whether on a hospital setting or community setting. This serves as a gauge whether nurses have given ethical care that encourage healing or preventing illness.
The ICN Code of Ethics has 4 elements:
- Nurses and People – the primary responsibility of nurses to people is to provide nursing care.
- Nurses and Practice – the nurse is personally accountable of the nursing practice and will hold the white uniform with dignity and pride
- Nurses and the Profession – The nurse is responsible in improving the face of the profession in a form of research and practicing using evidenced-based nursing practice
- Nurses and Co-workers – the nurse has a responsibility in encouraging a harmonious relationship among colleagues and members of the health care team.
As mentioned above, taking the ICN code of ethics for nurses as a reference, the Code of Ethics for Filipino Nurses came into its existence. The new Code of Ethics for Nurses for Filipino Nurses was promulgated by the Board of Nursing under Resolution No. 220 Series of 2004 last July 14, 2004. This is after a consultation meeting done in October 23, 2004 in Iloilo City with the accredited organizations of registered nurses.
The Code of Ethics for Filipino Nurses were similar to the ICN, however it further stated administrative penalties, repealing clause and effectivity. It pursues revocation of licenses when registered nurses in the Philippines have violated any provisions of the Code.