ANA Code of Ethics Applied to Current Practice Philosophy
The objective of this study is to discuss provisions one through nine of the ANA Code of Ethics and apply it to the current practice philosophy. A well this work will discuss provisions seven through nine of the ANA Code of Ethics and apply it to the current practice philosophy and answer how the two relate. The differences between professional responsibility and accountability in the nursing practice will be discussed and examples provided. Finally, this study seeks to answer after what has been learned in addition to readings and self-assessment activities what can be implemented in the practice that would strengthen this experience for one's peers and in terms of self-development on the Novice to Professional continuum.
The American Nurse Administration Code of Ethics Provision One states that the nurse practices, in all professional relationships "with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems." (Nursing World, 2010) Provision two states that the primary commitment of the nurse is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, or community." (Nursing World, 2010) Provision three states that the nurse "promotes, advocates for and strives to protect the health, safety and rights of the patient." (Nursing World, 2010) The American Nurse Administration Code of Ethics, Provision Four states that the nurse is "responsible and accountable for individual nursing practice and determines the appropriate delegation of tasks consistent with the nurse's obligation to provide optimum patient care." (Nursing World, 2010) The registered nurse has the primary responsibility for the quality of nursing care patients receive and are held "individually accountable for their own practice" which is reported to include "direct care activities, acts of delegation, and other responsibilities such as teaching, research, and administration." (Nursing World, 2010) Accountability is defined as being "answerable to oneself and others for one's actions." (Nursing World, 2010) Accountability within this view places nurses actions under a code of ethical conduct "that is grounded in the moral principles of fidelity and respect for the dignity, worth, and self-determination of patients." (Nursing World, 2010) No matter what the health organization's policies or the directives of providers, "nurses are accountable for judgments made and actions taken the course of nursing practice…" (Nursing World, 2010) Responsibility is defined as the "specific accountability of liability associated with the performance of duties of a particular role." (Nursing World, 2010) Specific role demands are accepted or rejected by the nurse upon the basis of "their education, knowledge, competence, and extent of experience." (Nursing World, 2010) Nurses whose role is administration, education, or research also have obligations to those in receipt of nursing care. While the role of the nurse in the previously mentioned capacities are not directly with patients they still share in the responsibility for the care provided by those whom they instruct or supervise. The individual nurse is also responsible for self-assessment of their own competence. When the patient's needs are beyond the nurse qualifications and competencies, the nurse must seek out consultation and collaboration from qualified nurses and other health professionals or sources that are appropriate. The nurse being accountable for the quality of nursing care provided to patients means that they are accountable for assignment of nursing responsibilities to other nurses and delegation of nursing care activities to other workers in health care. The nurse has a responsibility to make a reasonable effort to assess competence of individuals when they are assigned to specific components of nursing care. This includes the evaluation of the "knowledge, skills and experience" of the individual to whom specific health care activities are assigned. (Nursing World, 2010)
Provision Five states "the nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including the responsibilities to preserve high integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth." (Nursing World, 2010) Moral respect is reported to be such that "accords moral worth and dignity to all human beings irrespective of their personal attributes or life situation." (Nursing World, 2010 ) The same duty is owed by the nurse to themselves. Self-regarding duties are reported to refer to "a realm of duties that primarily concern oneself and include professional growth and maintenance of competence, preservation of wholeness of character, and personal integrity." (Nursing World, 2010)
Provision Six of the nursing code of ethics states that the nurse "participates in establishing, maintaining, and improving health care environments and conditions of employment conducive to the provision of quality health care and consistent with the values of the profession through individual and collective action." (Nursing World, 2010) Provision Seven states that the nurse "participates in the advancement of the profession through contributions to practice, education, administration, and knowledge development." (Nursing World, 2010 ) The nurse should advance the nursing profession through contribution to the "leadership, activities, and the viability of their professional organizations" and through serving in leadership or mentorship roles or serving on committees within their place of employment. The self-employed nurse has the capacity to advance the profession through service as role models for professional integrity. Civic activities also offer a chance for the nurse to advance their profession on the local, state, national or international level. The nurse educator has a responsibility to "enhance students' commitment to professional and civic values." (Nursing World, 2010) In addition, the nurse administration has a responsibility to "foster an employment environment that facilitates nurses' ethical integrity and professionalism." (Nursing World, 2010) In addition, the nurse researcher has a responsibility for making an active contribution to the body of knowledge that supports and advances the nursing practice. The development, maintenance, and implementation of professional standards in clinical, administrative, and educational practice through contribution to the leadership and activities of professional organizations. The nursing profession is responsible for engaging in scholarly inquiry for the purpose of identifying, evaluating, refining, and expanding the body of knowledge that forms the discipline and practice foundation.
Provision Eight of the Nursing Code of Ethics states that the nurse "collaborates with other health professionals and the public in promoting community, national, and international efforts to meet health needs." (Nursing World, 2010) This means that the nurse has a responsibility to grasp the local health needs as well as a broader range of health concerns including environmental pollution, and lack of access to health care. Those in the nursing profession should be aware of the community health status and the threats that exist to public health and safety. The nursing professional is responsible for educating the public about preventive health care as well as health care services for treatment of disease and other health conditions. Further, the nursing professional is responsible for providing support to initiatives that address health care barriers. The nursing professional understands that health care is provided to a culturally diverse population and uses approaches in health care provision that are reflective of awareness and sensitivity about cultural diversity.
Provision Nine of the Nursing Code of Ethics states that the profession of nursing "as represented by associations and their members is responsible for articulating nursing values, for maintaining the integrity of the profession and its practice, and for shaping social policy." (Nursing World, 2010)
From Provisions Four through Seven, the nurse is informed of the responsibilities in patient care and specifically the nurses' responsibility for the patient, which is not only the care provided directly by the nursing practitioner but any care that is delegated to other health care service workers. The nurse has a responsibility to assess the capabilities of other workers in fulfilling the duties that are delegated to them in caring for patients. The nurse also has a responsibility to ensure that not only herself but that her colleagues further their knowledge and education on an ongoing basis. The nurse can implement regular self-assessment activities that will serve to regulate and perfect the nursing capacities and serve to assist the nursing professional with assessment of other health care service providers whom she supervises.
Each of the provisions reviewed in this study have set out the responsibilities of the nursing professional in the nursing practice. The nursing professional has a responsibility on many levels of society in terms of health care advancement and promotion. The nursing professional is not only responsible for self-assessment but for assessment of the performance and knowledge of other nursing professionals. The nursing professional must be willing to work collaboratively with others to advance not only the nursing practice but the health of the public on the local, state, national, and international levels.
Nursing is not just an occupation but instead is a way of life that focuses on the needs of individuals in the world pertaining to overcoming health care barriers and making equitable health care access for all individuals regardless of their race, ethnicity, level of education, life circumstances, health condition, or socioeconomic status. The role of the hospice nurse particularly…