The December 2016 Gallop Poll announced that once again, nurses were rated the highest for honesty and ethics among professions for the 15th straight year! As we graciously accept this honor (again) and receive congratulatory “likes” on our Facebook posts, let’s discuss the Code of Ethics for Nurses (2015), presented by the American Nurses Association.
The Code of Ethics is the nursing professions’ document that expresses “the values, duties and professional ideals” central to the core of nurses’ behaviors (ANA, 2015, p. viii). The Code began as the “Florence Nightingale Pledge”, written by Lystera Gretter in 1893, and remained the informal standard until 1950 when the “Code for Professional Nurses” was adopted by the ANA Delegates. The Nightingale Pledge by Gretter reads;
“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly: To pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping, and all family affairs coming to my . . .