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Code of Ethics

for Registered Nurses


Other Models and Guides for Ethical Reflection and Decision-

Making: Resources and Applications

Several other models for ethical reflection and decision-making are in common use.

Nurses find that some models are helpful in particular areas of practice (e.g., in

acute care practice, long-term care, public health) and that some models are more

meaningful to them than others.

Many models include the four principles of biomedical ethics— respect for autonomy,

beneficence, non-maleficence and justice — which some nurses find practical

because these models may bridge biomedical and nursing ethics in acute care. Some

nurses prefer a model that offers a diagram rather than text; for example diagram

models by Bergum and Storch (CARNA, 2010). Others prefer a more philosophically

based model, such as that offered by Yeo, Moorhouse, Khan and Rodney (2010).

A few key sources are listed below.

CNA’s Learning Modules: Bringing the Code of Ethics to Life


provides a

convenient way to become familiar with the values and responsibilities at the heart

of ethical nursing practice and how to apply them in everyday working scenarios

There are eight learning modules: one for each of the seven primary values of the


, plus an additional module on social justice.

• Providing safe, compassionate, competent and ethical care

• Promoting health and well-being

• Promoting and respecting informed decision-making

• Honouring dignity

• Maintaining privacy and confidentiality

• Promoting justice

• Being accountable

• Social justice