As the American Nurses Association (ANA) embarks on a yearlong campaign to highlight the importance of nursing ethics and their impact on patients and health care quality, the annual Gallup survey on trust in professions shows the public continues to rate nursing as the most honest and ethical.
For the past 13 years, the public has voted nurses as the most honest and ethical profession in America in the Gallup poll.
This year, 80 percent of Americans rated nurses' honesty and ethical standards as "very high" or "high," 15 percentage points above any other profession.
"All nurses share the critical responsibility to adhere to the highest ethical standards in their practice to ensure they provide superior health care to patients and society," said ANA President Pamela F. Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.
"ANA is calling 2015 the Year of Ethics to highlight ethics as an essential component of everyday nursing practice and reinforce the trust patients have that nurses will protect their health and safety, and advocate on their behalf."
As more Americans gain access to health care under the Affordable Care Act, consumers increasingly are finding that they can rely upon nurses to provide their preventive, wellness and primary care services.
Additionally, ANA has completed a revision of its Code of Ethics for Nurses, a cornerstone document of the nursing profession that upholds the best interests of patients, families and communities. The new Code reflects many changes and evolutions in health care and considers the most current ethical challenges nurses face in practice.
The new Code will be released early in 2015. The revision involved a four-year process in which a committee received and evaluated comments on ethics issues from thousands of nurses.
The Year of Ethics will include educational activities supporting the Code and a three-day experts' symposium.
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.
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