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Code of Ethics

for Registered Nurses

21

Competency:

the integrated knowledge, skills, judgment and attributes required of

a nurse to practise safely and ethically in a designated role and setting. (Attributes

include, but are not limited to, attitudes, values and beliefs.)

Confidentiality:

the ethical obligation to keep someone’s personal and private

information secret or private (Fry & Johnstone, 2008).

Conflicts of interest:

occur when the nurse either makes or is in a position to make

a decision based upon what is good for the nurse’s own best interests, not the best

interest of others who might be affected (Oberle & Raffin Bouchel, 2009; CNO, 2017a).

Conscientious objection:

a situation in which a nurse informs their employer

about a conflict of conscience and the need to refrain from providing care because a

practice or procedure conflicts with the nurse’s moral beliefs (CRNBC, 2017b).

Conscious:

the state of being aware of and attaching importance to a behaviour

or action.

Consent:

the voluntary agreement to some act or purpose made by a capable

individual. Criteria for consent include the person or substitute decision-maker

being adequately informed and being capable of giving (or refusing) consent without

coercion, fraud or misrepresentation (CRNBC, 2017a).

Culture:

“the learned values, beliefs, norms and way of life that influence an

individual’s thinking, decisions and actions in certain ways” (CNO, 2009a, p. 3).

Diversity:

the variation between people in terms of a range of factors such as

ethnicity, national origin, race, gender, gender identify, gender expression, ability, age,

physical characteristics, religion, values, beliefs, sexual orientation, socio-economic

class or life experiences (RNAO, 2007).

Duty to provide care:

nurses have a professional duty and a legal obligation to

provide persons receiving care with safe, competent, compassionate and ethical

care. There may be some circumstances in which it is acceptable for a nurse to

withdraw from care provisions or to refuse to provide care (see Appendix B; CRNBC,

2017b; CRNNS, 2014).