ANA Revised Code of Ethics

    Profession's guiding document addresses 21st Century health care issues

    Washington, DC -- Members of the American Nurses Association (ANA) House of Delegates (HOD) today voted overwhelmingly to pass a revised Code of Ethics for Nurses that more accurately reflects the issues facing modern-day nurses in the nation's current health care environment as well as their unchanging mission to provide quality care.

    "The Code of Ethics for Nurses has always been a key guiding document for the nursing profession as well as a strong support for individual nurses who are involved in principled actions in controversial situations," said ANA President Mary Foley, MS, RN. "But with the revisions that have been adopted, this new Code will serve the profession even more efficiently because it clearly explains the mission of nursing in society and how nurses partner with the public with regard to health promotion, patient recovery and illness prevention."

    It is also expected that the 2001 Code, which acknowledges the reality of managed care and other health care policy initiatives, "will better serve nurses involved in legal challenges, as well as strengthen nurses' rights in collective bargaining and workplace advocacy situations," Foley added.

    The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses, which functions as the blueprint for nursing's professional goals and values, includes nine provisions and interpretive statements that have been revised periodically since 1950. The Code was last updated in 1985, and although this version embodies nursing's core values, it was determined that the document no longer provides timely guidance for practice.

    A key aspect of the revision is new language that acknowledges the myriad challenges in the nurse's work environment in the 21st century. The new Code, while retaining the timeless values inherent in the nursing profession over the past 100 years - including the identification of important virtues, duties and responsibilities of the nurse - also emphasizes subtle changes in health care relationships, as well as the nurse's right to practice in an environment that is safe and which protects patients' rights and the rights of nurses as health care professionals.

    For example, the first provision of the 1985 version of the Code declares the nurse's respect for the dignity, worth and uniqueness of each "client." In the revised Code, "client" is replaced by "patient" and "individual." Also, a section has been added stating that "the principal of respect for persons extends to all individuals with whom the nurse interacts," including "colleagues and others."

    Among other changes in the Code is the addition of language in the second provision that addresses the primacy of the patient's interests, conflicts of interest for nurses and collaboration within the health care setting. And the third provision has been altered to establish a greater foundation of patient advocacy and health promotion among nurses, particularly with regard to patient privacy and confidentiality.

    "This new language addresses such issues as the development of policies and review mechanisms designed to promote safety and reduce the likelihood of errors, " Foley noted, "with both environmental system factors and human factors that present increased risk to patients being considered."

    Also included in the Code is language asserting that nurses should not participate in the direct act of assisted suicide. This language, while reinforcing that ANA supports pain relief at the end of life, even if it hastens the patient's death, further clarifies ANA's stance with regard to such issues as end-of-life cancer care and other situations which have resulted in a public outcry for better relief of suffering.

    "This change, and other similar language changes, reflect the nurse's role as a patient advocate and our obligation to protect the health of the public as a whole," Foley said. The process of revising the new Code is a culmination of years of fine tuning and careful decision-making about the final language. Throughout this revision process, the Task Force attempted to seek the opinions and suggestions of a wide range of nurses, individuals and groups. Reviews were conducted through regional conference calls, presentations, extensive field reviews, and numerous individual and group discussions.

    "We are excited about the new 2001 Code and expect that it will be enthusiastically adopted by the nursing community, the health care community and the public at large as the premier guiding document of the nursing profession," Foley asserted.

    The newly revised Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements will be published later this summer. It can be purchased by calling 1-800-637-0323 and asking for publication CEN21HA1. The price is $11.95 for ANA members and $14.95 for nonmembers.
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  3. by   Jenny P
    NRSKarenRN, revision of the actual ANA Nurses Code of Ethics hasn't been done since 1964; the interpretive statements were updated back in 1985. I know one of the Minnesota nurses who worked on this version, and it has been in the works for over 5 years. Last year when it came up to the ANA House of Delegates, we were not happy with it and sent the committee back to work on it some more. This version of the Code addresses our concerns and does update it to current practice situations. It was a lot of work; it is a good Code for all of us to base our practise on; and those that worked on it should be congratulated and praised for all of those years of hard work.
    Wildtime, I've supported you in past threads; but you just can't get it through your thick head that NO ONE IS INTERESTED IN YOUR DIATRIBE AGAINST ANA here on this thread. Use your energy to build something up instead of ripping things apart. I had some very interesting conversations with some Mass. nurses (and many other nurses from around the country) at the ANA convention; and it seems that the break away Mass. nurses are shooting themselves in the foot repeatedly.
  4. by   Jenny P
    At least ANA has a code of ethics. And thank goodness they speak for all nurses because no one else has been. You have had this all explained to you many times, Wildtime, and you either just don't get it or you just like to cause trouble.
    ANA staff (which are office workers- not nurses) has their own union. Big deal. The posting you quote on your other thread told of an IMPENDING strike by ANA office staff -WHICH WAS AVERTED! Part of the reason for the impending strike had to do with Mass. Nurses Assoc. illegally withholding dues $$ they owed to ANA. And not every place that has a union is a bad place to work either. Sometimes employees want unions to prevent bad situations from arising.
    But you don't care about that, do you?
    Life is tough sometimes, Wildtime. I'm waiting to see what big positive changes you are making for nursing. So far all I see are nasty comments about an organization you know very little about.
    As far as the Maine, Mass. and Calif. nurses groups who dis-affiliated from ANA; I'm waiting to see what they are doing also. I have lots of patience; and they aren't all brand new at this. Most of them learned their leadership skills and collective bargaining activity from ANA; so they have as much knowledge as those of us who are still members of ANA.
  5. by   -jt
    Right on target with that post Jenny! and absolutely correct.

    wildtime, you are so misinformed it would be laughable if it wasnt so scary. I didnt see you in DC last week when hundreds of other RNs were there making a difference. You dont ever talk about all the accomplishments nurses in the ANA have achieved
    (and fyi THEY are the ANA). I can only surmise that its because you dont know about them & arent interested to hear about it. So say what you want but know that people dont have much use for broken records.
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Jenny P and JT have summed up my feelings too. Hope to be added to candidate slate for ANA as PA delegate for next year, since convention in Philly! Will be assisting PA delegation with it's planning. We'll all get together then hopefully. Going to convention really opens your eyes to national nursing activites, can be very different from your own world.
  7. by   natalie
    I had seen the PR piece you mention Wildtime. It was posted by MNA. It was posted in the middle of the disaffiliation battle. I have seen no follow-ups, no news from any other source since. Infact, this is the ONE AND ONLY piece written about it. Do you ever contemplate your sources and the possibilities of hidden agendas?

    I had not seen an inclusion in the article of the monies withheld from ANA by MNA prior to the formalizing of the disaffiliation. This caused financial strife within ANA. (Of note, there is a district in MNA that currently wants to disaffiliate from the new MNA and re-establish ties with ANA. MNA is claiming that the district's monies belong to MNA, not the district's. The tables turn and it's hard to keep up with it all. But the irony glares.) Disaffiliation battles can get nasty on both sides. I do wish the new MNA all the best in their hard work ahead of them.

    Here's my point, Wildtime. Are you aware of your sources (one source) and the biased reporting that may be possible? Why don't you email MNA PR dept. and ask for a follow-up or an explanation of the bonuses stated that ANA adm. paid itself. As for the 4% raise versus the 3.5% raise, why that's about as irrelevant as your postings. Are you aware of the contract settlement? I glanced at it and it wasn't too shabby. 3 weeks vacation starting the first year's employment, 7% raise over 2 years. Find it yourself. You need to learn how to dig at the truth before opening your mouth.
  8. by   Jenny P
    I just want to clarify that both Mass. Nurses Association and Minnesota Nurses Association go by MNA and Natalie is talking about the Mass. Nurses Assoc. The reason I'd like to clarify this is that Minnesota is still part of ANA, while the Mass. Nurses Assoc. disafilliated from ANA this past spring. There is a new group of Mass. nurses who joined up with ANA; they are the Mass. Assoc. of Registered Nurses (MARN, I believe), and they had their delegates at the ANA convention already- as did the new group from Maine (ANA- Maine). There has been a ANA- California since that states' disafilliation back in 1995.
  9. by   Tim-GNP
    I guess i've been involved in labor-management relations too long... but I have come to learn something. There are 3 sides to every story:

    1. My side
    2. Your side
    3. The truth [which exists on a continuum somewhere between 1 and 2].

    Keep that in mind. But that's just the opinion of an 'elitist' minded nurse who has to jump into every argument with the words ANA in the title. I guess i'll be a real piece of crap when I get that Ph.D., won't I??? Maybe the ANA will give me a job

    By the way... how has everone been???? I've been insane with school work and not much time to play on-line. I see that the arguments all remain the same---so I guess I haven't missed anything. But aside from that, is everyone doing well?
  10. by   Jenny P
    Wildtime, please go to another source for more information. You love to twist you information around; and it would be good if you did your own digging for the truth since you don't want to listen to the nurses who ARE members of ANA. Now you have been told by others that there was a political agenda to the press release from Mass.nurses assoc.; yet you contiue to use that as your source of information. Find some other sites that give you info about this.
    Tim, it seems that we are back at square one again; although it has been quiet and pleasant here for a while. Good luck with the studies.
  11. by   -jt
    Wildtime - get with the times.

    So what that the clerical staff at the ANA joined a union yrs ago? The ANA PROMOTES unionization & collective bargaining. It makes sense that their own employees would be unionized. As my kids would say.......DUH!

    The issue you kept referring to & now have changed is that recently, the ANA contract negotiations with their clerical staff involved raises which the ANA could not meet because the Mass NA was witholding a million $$ that it owed the ANA while it pushed for its disaffiliation. With funds tied up, the ANA/staff negotiations could not go forward. The Mass NA, having had a hand in CREATING these difficulties by refusing to pay its million $$$ bill to the ANA, then used the situation to its own benefit by publicizing the stalled negotiations in their own biased, self-serving way & using it to convince its membership that it really did have to leave the big, bad ANA because "SEE!! Look at what they are doing to their staff!!". (never explaining that the THEY themselves were a big part of the reason this was happening). You obviously bought it all, hook, line & sinker.

    You have never heard anything else about it because the contract between the ANA & its clerical staff was settled without a strike - in spite of Mass NA. The Mass NA then disaffiliated but not all of it left the ANA. The Mass NA was an organization of 20,000 members. I heard that it is now only 11,000 members strong but I havent been interested enough to check that out.

    I think its funny that you keep harping on the "statement" made by half of 2 associations in disaffiliating from the ANA yet you say nothing about the "statement" made by the other half of those 2 associations rebuilding and joining the ANA. Nor do you mention the 54 associations that remain part of it. The "statement" made by 54 state associations - including 2 new ones joining - says a hell of a lot more than the temper tantrum of 2 halves.

    There are now 2 state associations in both Massachusetts & Maine because many nurses there did not agree with the disaffiliations.
    Both of those associations are the newest members of the ANA. The other state association from California has been in the ANA since the CNA split. Now that the collective bargaining state associations of the ANA have affiliated with the AFL-CIO in a historic move to be a voice of 300,000 nurses, it looks like Mass, CNA & their small alliances are out there all by themselves. I think there will be a re-uniting someday - out of their sheer necessity.
  12. by   -jt
    <We are talking about the ethical treatment of other human being >

    I dont know what youre talking seems to change from minute to minute. I was addressing the long-past issue that you keep bringing up but that was resolved long ago without any further strife & in spite of the instigation from certain self-serving individuals. The issue was that the raises the staff wanted could not be met BECAUSE the Mass NA was withholding a million $$$ it owed the ANA. That was not in 1994. That was during the Mass NA disaffiliation campaign. That helped stall the contract negotiations for ANA staff. Staff wanted raises; Mass NA didnt want to pay their bills. You are the one trying to blow smoke screens & change topics once you can no longer challenge the answers.

    Anyway, It doesnt matter now because the whole thing was settled without a strike & without any problems. It seems it is more of an issue to you now than it is to those involved. If you want to talk about ethics, try addressing the "ethics" of what the leadership of the Mass NA group did with that whole thing. Or dont bother wasting your breath on their "ethical" tactics - its all old news anyway. The point is you are getting so hot over something that was inaccurately portrayed by your biased source & that has long since been resolved. Ever wonder why your reliable source never bothered to post about that?
    Wild-Time to play a new record.
  13. by   -jt
    <I would really put a lot of CLOT in what the ANA members have to say about an organization which recently split from them. >

    I suppose you meant to say CLOUT? If so, I remind you that only a piece of that "organization" split from the ANA. Big deal. The rest of that "organization" regrouped & rejoined. And 53 other organizations remain united with the ANA. So what is your point? I'd have to say I'd put more clout in what 54 groups do & say than what half of one does. And believe me, no one of the 54 other groups is even paying attention to that split group. Whatever they do, we wish them well but it is not a topic of major interest. We have better things & a lot of our own work to do. What they do on their own is their business.

    But one thing I can tell you is that if I had split from an organization which I thought was ineffective, & felt was of no use to me, I certainly would not be interested in what it does without me since I no longer had any ties to it. I would get on with my own business and I surely would not be hiding in the back of the room at the DC Convention of this organization which I split from & supposedly despised .
  14. by   -jt
    The bottom line really is that you cant stand the ANA & will find fault with everything we do there. So be it.

    The Code of Ethics is a guideline for the nursing profession. The ANA isnt going around with a baseball bat threatening all nurses who dont follow it but it will be used as a guideline for nurse professionalism & who better to develop those guidelines than the national professional organization of nursing? Before you throw out your numbers & the famous 93% you keep telling us about, remember that even with those numbers, the ANA is STILL the largest organization for nurses in this country & speaks for the interests of professional nurses, and as such, has an obligation to have ethical guidelines in place for the practice of this profession.

    Youre free to not follow the Code of Ethics if you dont want to.