The Nursing Code of Ethics sets the ethical benchmark for the profession, and guides nurses in ethical analysis and decision making at the societal, organizational, and clinical levels. The code encompasses showing compassion and respect for the patient, their families, and communities in all circumstances while committing to providing patient-centered care. In addition, the code states that nurses must advocate for the patient by defending a cause or recommendation to protect their rights, health, and safety. To provide optimal patient care, the nurse must show professional autonomy by embracing authority, accountability, and responsibility for their nursing practice. Furthermore , the nurse has the obligation to ensure the same care is bestowed upon themselves, as is the care they provide; including maintenance of physical health, mental health, personal safety, and personal and professional development. The nurse is also responsible for contributing to improving the work environment through individual and collective efforts for safe, quality health care. For example, noticing safety hazards and reporting them via facility protocol or escalating as appropriate to external authorities ensures a safe working and patient care environment. .
Nurses are encouraged to pursue professional advancement by participating in evidence-based research, publishing scholarly work, and participating in groups such as boards, committees, and professional organizations. Intraprofessional and interprofessional collaboration between nurses, other healthcare professionals, patients, families, and communities help to protect and promote human rights, promote health diplomacy, and promote health equality. Finally, the nursing profession through professional organizations communicates nursing values, maintains integrity, and incorporates principles of social justice into nursing and health policy.
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