The Year of Ethics Commences with First Revision of Code since 2001 (1/6/15)

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January 6, 2015

Adam Sachs, 301-628-5034
Jemarion Jones, 301-628-5198

The Year of Ethics Commences with First Revision of Code since 2001
ANA Plans Ethics Educational Activities for 2015 to Highlight Importance in Nursing Practice

SILVER SPRING, MD – Making decisions based on a sound foundation of ethics is an essential part of nursing practice in all specialties and settings. In recognition of the impact ethical practice has on patient safety and the quality of care, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has designated 2015 as the “Year of Ethics” highlighted by the release of a revised code of ethics for the profession.

“The public places its faith in nurses to practice ethically. A patient’s health, autonomy and even life or death, can be affected by a nurse’s decisions and actions,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “ANA believes it’s important that all nurses practice at the highest ethical level, and therefore, we will be offering a full range of activities to inform and support nurses to achieve that goal in a stressful and ever-changing health care environment.”

A December Gallup survey ranked nurses as the top profession for honesty and ethical standards for the 13th consecutive year.

The foundation of the 2015 ethics initiative is the revised Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, which was released Jan. 1. Several thousand registered nurses submitted comments during a four-year revision process for the new Code of Ethics, which was last updated in 2001. The update ensures that the Code reflects modern clinical practice and evolving conditions, and fully addresses transformations in health care.

Activities emphasizing the importance of ethics in nursing practice include:

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 to “create and support ethically principled, healthy, sustainable work environments; and contribute to the best possible patient, family and community outcomes.”

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ANA is the only full-service professional organization representing the interests of the nation's 3.1 million registered nurses through its constituent and state nurses associations and its organizational affiliates. ANA advances the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the rights of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Congress and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.