Ethical Principles In Nursing

Ethical Principles In Nursing

Nursing ethics is an extremely important topic as nurses are held to a very high ethical standard. Nurses must maintain their autonomy, exercise beneficence and non-maleficence, and act justly. Ethical principles are the foundation of nursing practice and provide a guide for decision making. In this article, we will discuss some key points about nursing ethics along with examples of how it can be applied in your daily life as a nurse.


Autonomy is the right of the patient to make decisions regarding their own health care. Informed consent is an important component of autonomy, since it involves giving patients enough information about their condition and treatment options to enable them to make informed decisions about what they want. A common example of a case where informed consent is important is when a doctor suggests surgery for a patient who has been diagnosed with cancer, but who does not want surgery. This would be a good time for the doctor and nurse(s) involved in this case to explain why surgery may be necessary and what its possible outcomes might be. This can help ensure that the patient understands why they are being recommended for surgery before making any final decisions about whether or not they wish to have it performed.


Informed consent also plays an important role in nursing practice because nurses must always take into account individual preferences when administering treatments such as medications or medical procedures such as catheterization (inserting tubes through which fluids may flow). Nurses should ensure that all patients have been fully informed about what will happen during these procedures so that patients can express any concerns or objections beforehand if needed – a healthy exchange between nurse/patient pairs will allow both parties more control over how things are done throughout every step of treatment!


Beneficence is the principle of doing good. The nurse should do what they can to help the patient be as healthy and comfortable as possible. Nurses must be honest with patients, not only about their diagnosis but also about what treatments are available. They should respect every person who comes into contact with them, regardless of age or gender. Finally, nurses must be respectful of the patient’s family members and support them in ways that are appropriate for each individual situation.


Non-maleficence is part of the ethical principle of non-maleficence, or doing no harm. You should follow this principle when caring for your patients. To do so, you must be aware of the following:

  • Do no harm to yourself
  • Do not harm the patient
  • Do not harm your family or community
  • Do not cause environmental damage


The principle of justice means that nurses should be aware of the patient’s culture, beliefs and financial situation.

  • In the case of culture, a nurse must be aware of how their treatment will affect their patient’s culture. For example, if a nurse is working with a patient who has an arthritic condition and believes in using homeopathic remedies rather than medications or surgery for their pain relief, then the nurse must take this into consideration when providing care to ensure that they do not disregard the patient’s beliefs or cultural practices. This can also apply in reverse; if a nurse is treating someone who lives by strict religious tenets and has been taught to never use any type of medication except those prescribed by God himself (e.g., Jesus), it would clearly be unjust to administer antibiotics against his wishes – even if he was suffering from pneumonia!
  • In terms of beliefs: If someone believes strongly enough in something (e.g., Jesus Christ) then it would be unfair for us as human beings not to respect those beliefs even though we might not share them ourselves! So whenever possible try not to force your own personal views onto others unless you know them very well or have spent plenty time getting acquainted with one another first.”

Nursing ethics is an extremely important topic as nurses are held to a very high ethical standard.

Nursing ethics is an extremely important topic as nurses are held to a very high ethical standard. Nurses’ primary concern should be the welfare of the patient, and ethical principles are essential for this goal to be met. Ethical principles also protect both patients and nurses from any harm that might occur due to unethical practices.

Ethical principles provide a framework for decision-making, which allows nurses to work within their scope of practice while maintaining professional responsibilities and standards. It also protects them from liability if there were ever an issue with their care or treatment of patients.

As you can see from the definitions of these four ethical principles, there is a lot of overlap in what they mean and how they apply to nursing. However, it is important to understand them individually as well as collectively so that each nurse understands their own role in upholding these values. Nurses must always remember that when faced with tough decisions on a daily basis—whether it’s deciding which treatment plan will be best for a patient or whether or not to go along with an order given by another healthcare professional—it’s crucial not just for their own safety but also the safety of others around them.

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