Assignment: Association Code of Ethics
Professionalism is defined as the consistent demonstration of core values evidenced by nurses working with other professionals to achieve optimal health and wellness outcomes in patients, families, and communities by wisely applying principles of altruism, excellence, caring, ethics, respect, communication, and accountability (Interprofessional Professionalism Measurement Group, 2008). Professionalism also involves accountability for one’s self and nursing practice, including continuous professional engagement and lifelong learning. As discussed in the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nursing (2005, p.16), “The nurse is responsible for individual nursing practice and determines the appropriate delegation of tasks consistent with the nurse’s obligation to provide optimum patient care.” Also, inherent in accountability is responsibility for individual actions and behaviors, including civility. In order to demonstrate professionalism, civility must be present. Civility is a fundamental set of accepted behaviors for a society/culture upon which professional behaviors are based (Hammer, 2003).
Professional nursing has enjoyed a long tradition of high respect from the public (Gallup Poll, 2006). A primary reason for this recognition is the caring and compassion of the nurse. Caring is a concept central to professional nursing practice. Caring as related to this Essential encompasses the nurse’s empathy for, connection to, and being with the patient, as well as the ability to translate these affective characteristics into compassionate, sensitive, and patientcentered care. Historically, nurses have provided care for patients within a context of privileged intimacy; a space into which a nurse is allowed and in partnership with the patient creates a unique, healing relationship. Through this connection, the nurse and patient work toward an understanding of a wide variety of physical, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual needs, healthillness decisions, and life challenges. Professional nursing requires a balance between evidencebased knowledge, skills, and attitudes and professional confidence, maturity, caring, and compassion. In this global society, patient populations are increasingly diverse.
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