Nurses have a responsibility to their patients, to society and to each other, to perform their duties in a way that provides high quality health care. The Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia, published by the Australian Nursing and Midwives Council, provides guidelines and standards for the practices of nursing.
Purpose of the Code
The code outlines the national standards of conduct that nurses should uphold in their professional and personal lives. It also provides the public with a record of the standards of the professional behaviour it can expect from nurses. Evaluations of nurses' work performances are based on the code.
Elements of the Code
There are 10 elements in the code of conduct that cover nursing practices, treatment of, and respect for, clients, privacy and confidentiality of information and matters of trust with the patient and the community.
Breaches of the Code
According to the code, professional misconduct is "conduct unbefitting a nurse" outside of the workplace, and includes theft and drunkenness. Unprofessional conduct is behaviour in the workplace that contravenes the practices and standards of the nursing profession as given in this code and in the nursing code of ethics.