Icelandic Nurses‘ Association Code of Ethics

The core values of nursing are compassion for its clients and respect for their lives, welfare and right to liberty and security of person. The role of the nurse is to promote health, improve conditions and ease suffering. Nurses perform their duties with respect for the individual and without discrimination.

1. Nurses and Professional Responsibility

Nursing is based on professional knowledge, research, experience, interpersonal communication skills, self-knowledge and moral awareness. Above all, nurses have a professional duty towards those in need of care.

Nurses maintain their knowledge and skills and are professionally, morally and legally responsible for their occupational activities.

Nurses participate in the development of nursing knowledge and base their work on evidence-based practice. 
Nurses uphold ethical standards at work and encourage discussions on moral issues.
Nurses recognise their own limitations at work and do not perform tasks that are outside their realms of knowledge or training; instead they consult with colleagues or seek expert advice with the interests of their clients at heart.
Nurses may be released from their duties if they contravene their moral conscience. 
Nurses use their professional titles in such a manner that appropriately indicates their knowledge and responsibility.
Nurses do not use their professional titles for advertising any other activities than nursing. 
Nurses shall not receive perquisites from their clients. 
Nurses engaged in scientific research comply with applicable laws and regulations at all times. 


2. Nurses and Clients

Nurses are advocates for their clients, safeguard their dignity and rights and ensure they are treated with respect and integrity. Nurses defend their clients‘ right to self-determination and the right to receive the best available service at any given time.

Nurses protect the clients‘ needs for holistic nursing.  
Nurses shall enable clients or guardians to take informed decisions.
Nurses ensure that clients are given accurate and timely information, preparation and support.
Nurses defend their clients‘ right to privacy by observing confidentiality and discretion and complying with codes of ethics and law when sharing identifiable information. 
Nurses required to testify in a court of law on private matters concerning their clients shall seek professional advice.
Nurses report on any incident, conduct or negligence where there is reason to suspect violation against a client. The interests of clients shall always take precedence over the interests of places of employment. 
Nurses defend their clients‘ right to die with dignity.
Nurses seek to tailor their interactions and demeanour to the personal development and needs of their clients.


3. Nurses, Workplaces and Colleagues

Nurses are at all times familiar with the strategies, goals and rules of their places of employment and comply with them in so far as they are compatible with the core values of nursing and ethical standards.

Nurses are aware of their duties and rights at any given time and participate actively in implementing evidence-based knowledge and professional practices.
Nurses treat their colleagues with respect, give support in difficult situations, and provide guidance where corrective action needs to be taken.
Nurses encourage honest and professional cooperation.

4. Nursing and the Community

Nurses participate actively in public dialogue on health matters as well as in policy formulation and the advancement of health services.

Nurses respect their professional titles and show professional loyalty, both inside and outside their places of employment.
Nurses endeavour to uphold professional and ethical standards in all discussions and decisions concerning the welfare of the community.
Nurses endorse sustainable development.


Any person who believes that a nurse has transgressed this code may refer their query to the Ethics  Committee of the Icelandic Nurses’ Association.

Icelandic Nurses’ Association, Board of Ethics, May 2015.
Adopted by the General Meeting of the Icelandic Nurses’ Association on 18 May 2015.

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