The American Nurses Association has declared 2015 as the Year of Ethics, and began its efforts to recognize the impact of ethical practice on patient safety and the quality of care by releasing a revised code of ethics for the profession.
The public places its faith in nurses to practice ethically, ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, said in a news release. A patient’s health, autonomy and even life or death can be affected by a nurse’s decisions and actions. ANA believes it is important that all nurses practice at the highest ethical level and will offer activities throughout the year to inform and support nurses in achieving that goal in a stressful and ever-changing healthcare environment.
The revised 2015 Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements was released Jan. 1. Several thousand RNs submitted comments during a four-year revision process for the new Code of Ethics, which was last updated in 2001. The Code, an ethics resource for nurses, the public and policymakers, upholds the best interests of patients, families and communities, according to a news release.
The ANA in January hosted a live webinar, “Keeping the Code: Every Nurse’s Ethical Obligation,” celebrated National Nurses Week with the theme “Ethical Practice. Quality Care” and held its 2015 Ethics Symposium in June in Baltimore to facilitate dialogue across the nursing spectrum.
“For the past 13 years, nurses have held the top spot as the public’s most honest and ethical profession in America in an annual Gallup poll,” Cipriano said in a news release. Nurses have the public’s trust and take seriously the critical responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards in their practice.”
In 2014, ANA participated as a strategic partner in the National Nursing Ethics Summit convened by the Johns Hopkins University’s Berman Institute of Bioethics and School of Nursing to strengthen ethics in the profession. The summit resulted in the “Blueprint for 21st Century Nursing Ethics: Report of the National Nursing Summit.” Summit leaders are encouraging individuals and organizations to adopt and implement the ethics blueprint.