Ethical practice, quality care form emphasis of National Nurses Week

Published 9:18 am Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The American Nurses Association continues its yearlong focus on ethics in nursing and its connection to the health care work environment and the quality of patient care as the nation celebrates National Nurses Week, Wednesday through Tuesday.

For the past 13 years, nurses have held the top spot as the public’s most honest and ethical profession in America in an annual Gallup poll. That recognition of nurses’ adherence to the obligations, values and ideals of the profession is reflected in the 2015 National Nurses Week theme: “Ethical Practice. Quality Care.”

“Nurses make ethical decisions every day and help patients do the same,” said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano.

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“As nurses make decisions, they are practicing at the highest ethical standard, both for the work they do and how they actually support patients and families in the right to self-determination and the care they receive.”

“Also, nurses must assume greater leadership roles to achieve the goal of a transformed health care system that results in better health, better care and reduced cost. Nurses Week is a great opportunity to educate policymakers and the public about nurses’ contributions and their expertise,” Cipriano said.

In recognition of the importance of ethical practice, ANA has designated 2015 as the “Year of Ethics,” highlighted by the revised Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, the first update since 2001. The code calls on nurses to improve “the ethical environment of the work setting and conditions of employment that are conducive to safe, quality health care.”

ANA is working on issues to improve nurses’ work environments, including:

Advocacy for the Registered Nurse Safe Staffing Act of 2015 to ensure optimal staffing to meet patient care needs, introduced April 29.

Dissemination of a new position statement and recommendations for nurses and employers to prevent and reduce nurse fatigue.

Promotion of ANA’s Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Interprofessional National Standards, and support of a federal bill to prevent health care worker injuries planned for introduction on May 12.

Engagement of a professional issues panel on workplace violence, bullying and incivility to develop a position statement and make recommendations on preventing and reducing dangerous and disruptive behaviors.

National Nurses Week activities include:

The Wednesday (National Nurses Day) screening of the documentary, “The American Nurse: Healing America,” at 150 theaters.

A free webinar for nurses, “My Patient, My Code, My Practice: Ethical Decision-making and Action,” at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday.

See the National Nurses Week Toolkit for more information and resources.

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. Please visit for more information.