The Online Newsletter for Children's Nurses
e-Edition, Issue 11
Foundational beliefs of the organization and nursing services.
By Randy Guerrero, MSA, BSN, RN, NE-BC
Our Core Values and their Relationship to the Nursing Code of Ethics
“But nurses are still reaching toward ideals which we trust may be realized in the fullness of time”
ISABEL HAMPTON ROBB, 1901
Integral to the framework of the organization’s mission and vision, as well as the Nursing Professional Practice Model, our core values are those values we hold that form the foundation on which we perform our work and conduct ourselves. Core values shape our culture and define the character of our organization. They guide how we behave and make decisions, and are the center of the actions of the members of our team. Values are steadfast and are not altered from situation to situation or decision to decision. There are a plethora of values to choose from, but some are so primary, so important to our organization’s purpose that we have “called out” a few to abide by.
As nurses, we are also governed and guided by the Nursing Code of Ethics. The basis for this Code can be traced to 19th century England, and to a school founded by Florence Nightingale, where profession-shaping ethical precepts and values were communicated. The American Nurses Association adopted the first official Nursing Code of Ethics in 1950 and today the most recent version of the Code (2001) contains general moral provisions and standards for nurses to follow. Interpretive guidelines have also been developed that accompany the Code and provide specific guidelines for clinical practice, education, research and administration. 1
Of note, and of considerable importance, Children’s Hospital Core Values and the values inherent in the Nursing Code of Ethics are well aligned. The following outlines a “crosswalk” between those organizational values that drive our behavior and activities and the Code2 that provides the foundation for our profession.
Children’s Value: Excellence – We depend on exceptional people to provide exceptional quality healthcare and services. We set high standards and we support each other as we strive to achieve them. We invest in each other and we value individual and cultural differences that make us strong.
Nursing Code of Ethics – Provision 1, 1.1. Nurses take into account the needs and values of all persons in all professional relationships. Provision 1, 1.3. The measures nurses take to care for the patient enable the patient to live with as much physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being as possible. Provision 6.1. All nurses have a responsibility to create, maintain and contribute to environments that support the growth of virtues and excellences and enable nurses to fulfill their ethical obligations.
Children’s Value: Compassionate Care – We treat every child, every family, each other, our visitors and our vendors with respect, kindness, hope, joy and good humor. We display our helpful, healing, family-centered spirit at every opportunity.
Nursing Code of Ethics: Provision 1, 1.1 Respect for the inherent worth, dignity and human rights of every individual. Nurses take into account the needs and values of all persons in all professional relationships; Provision 1, 1.2.The need for healthcare is universal, transcending all individual differences. The nurse establishes relationships and delivers nursing services with respect for human needs and values, and without prejudice. Provision 2.1. The nurse’s primary commitment is to the recipient of healthcare services, the patient, whether the recipient is an individual, a family, a group or a community.
Children’s Value: Integrity – We are honest, ethical and responsible in our work and in the way we deal with others. We keep our promises and admit our mistakes.
Nursing Code of Ethics: Provision 5.4. Nurses have a duty to remain consistent with both their personal and professional values and to accept compromise only to the degree that it remains an integrity-preserving compromise.
Children’s Value: Innovation – We embrace change, creativity, continuous learning and personal growth. We incorporate new ideas, technology and methods to improve the healthcare and services we provide.
Nursing Code of Ethics: Provision 5.2. Nurses are required to have relevant knowledge relative to the current scope and standards of nursing practice, changing issues, concerns, controversies and ethics. Provision 7.3. The nursing profession should engage in scholarly inquiry to identify, evaluate, refine and expand the body of knowledge that forms the foundation of its discipline and practice. Ongoing scholarly activities are essential to fulfilling a profession’s obligations to society.
Children’s Value: Collaboration – We build enduring internal and external relationships joining with colleagues across organizational boundaries to improve the care and services we provide. We encourage and reward both individual and team achievements.
Nursing Code of Ethics: Provision 2.3. By its very nature, collaboration requires mutual trust, recognition and respect among the healthcare team, shared decision-making about patient care, and open dialogue among all parties who have an interest in and a concern for health outcomes. Nurses should work to assure the relevant parties are involved and have a voice in decision-making about patient care issues.
Children’s Value: Stewardship – We are resourceful, adaptable and resilient. We have a “can do” attitude that gets the job done. We are fiscally responsible and efficient with our time. We are each personally dedicated to making Children’s Hospital better because we are here.
Nursing Code of Ethics: Provision 1.5. Nurses function in many roles, including direct care provider, administrator, educator, researcher and consultant.
Clearly, if we are committed to and abide by our organizational values that guide our work and behavior and the ethics that are the foundation for our nursing practice, we will position ourselves to “still reach toward the ideals which will be realized in the fullness of time.”
1 Janie B. Butts, DSN, RN, (2008). “Ethics in Professional Nursing Practice.”
Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Chapter 3
2 “Code of Ethics for Nurses With Interpretive Statements.” 2012 The American
Nurses Association, Inc.
In This Issue
Research / Evidence-Based Practice
Reward and Recognition