About The Code

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The American Nurses Association is proud to announce a completely updated Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements (The Code). This revision is the definitive framework for ethical analysis and decision-making for RNs across all practice levels, roles and settings.

Revisions were made in response to the complexities of modern nursing, to simplify and more clearly articulate the content, to anticipate advances in health care, and to incorporate aids that would make it richer, more accessible, and easier to use.

The Code, consisting of nine provisions and the accompanying interpretive statements:

  • Provides a succinct statement of the ethical values, obligations, and duties of every individual who enters the nursing profession.
  • Serves as the profession’s nonnegotiable ethical standard.
  • Expresses nursing’s own understanding of its commitment to society.

The Code is particularly useful to in today’s health care environment because it reiterates the fundamental values and commitments of the nurse (Provisions 1–3), identifies the boundaries of duty and loyalty (Provisions 4–6), and describes the duties of the nurse that extend beyond individual patient encounters (Provisions 7–9).

This revision retains interpretive statements for each provision that provide more specific guidance for practice. The statements are responsive to the contemporary context of nursing and recognize the larger scope of nursing’s concern in relation to health. It also includes another innovation: links to foundational and supplemental documents, which will be available later in 2015.

ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements is the promise that nurses are doing their best to provide care for their patients and their communities and are supporting each other in the process so that all nurses can fulfill their ethical and professional obligations. It is important tool that can be used now as leverage to a better future for nurses, patients and health care.

This Code is a reflection of the proud ethical heritage of nursing, a guide for all nurses now and into the future.