CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
The Code of Professional Conduct places the client/patient at the center of Nursing activities.
The purposes of the Code of Professional Conduct are to:
- Inform Professional Nurses of the Standards of Professional Conduct required of them in the exercise of their professional accountability and practice.
- Inform the public, other professions and employers, of the standard of Professional Conduct that they can expect of a Registered Practitioner.
A Nurse is a person who has received authorized education, acquired specialized knowledge, skills and attitudes, and is registered and licensed with the Nursing and Midwifery Council to provide promotive, preventive, supportive and restorative care to individuals, families and communities, independently, and in collaboration with other members of the health team. The Nurse must provide care in such a manner as to enhance the integrity of the profession, safeguard the health of the individual client/patient and protect the interest of the society.
THE PROFESSIONAL NURSE AND THE HEALTH CARE CONSUMER
The Nurse must:
- Provide care to all members of the public without prejudice to their age, religion, ethnicity, race, nationality, gender, political inclination, health or social economic status.
- Uphold the health consumer’s human rights as provided in the constitution.
- Ensure that the client/patient of legal age of 18 years and above gives informed consent for Nursing intervention. In case the health consumer is under aged, the next of kin or the parents can give the informed consent on his behalf.
- Keep information and records of the client confidential except in consultation with other members of the health team to come up with suitable intervention strategies or in compliance with a court ruling or for protecting the consumer and the public from danger.
- Avoid negligence, malpractice and assault while providing care to the client/patient.
- Relate with a consumer in a professional manner only.
- Not take bribe or gifts that can influence you to give preferential treatment.
- Consider the views, culture and Beliefs of the client/patient and his family in the design and implementation of his care/treatment regimen.
- Know that all clients/patients have a right to receive information about their condition.
- Be sensitive to the needs of clients/patients and respect the wishes of those who refuse or are unable to receive information about their condition.
- Provide information that is accurate, truthful and presented in such a way as to make it easily understood.
- Respect clients and patients’ autonomy, their right to decide whether or not to undergo any health care intervention even where a refusal may result in harm or death to themselves or a foetus, unless a court of law orders to the contrary.
- Presume that every patient and client is legally competent unless otherwise assessed by a suitably qualified practitioner. A patient or client who is legally competent can understand and retain treatment information and can use it to make an informed choice.
- Know that the principles of obtaining consent apply equally to those people who have a mental illness.
- Ensure that when clients and patients are detained under statutory powers (e.g. Mental Health Act), you know the circumstances and safeguards needed for providing treatment and care without consent.
- Provide care in emergencies where treatment is necessary to preserve life without clients/patients consent, if they are unable to give it, provided that you can demonstrate that you are acting in their best interests.
THE PROFESSIONAL NURSE AND THE NURSING PROFESSION
The Nurse must:
- Attend workshops, conferences, seminars and courses that are recognized by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and which are relevant to the profession, at least, once a year.
- Engage in behaviour and activities that uplift the social status and integrity of Nurses.
- Always appear Neat and decently dressed, without using bogus/dangling earrings, long and big wigs (all hair do must not extend below the neck level), high heeled shoes, long painted nails and bogus make up while on duty and in uniform.
- Not fight or steal.
- Be courteous, honest and resourceful.
- Not wear Uniforms and Overall outside the hospital premises.
- Not strap babies/children on her back while in Uniform.
- Provide care, using current evidence based principles and practice and the Nursing Process.
- Participate in the training of Student Nurses/Midwives and Students of health related disciplines.
- Co-operates and collaborates with Professional Associations to secure good Conditions of Service.
- Demonstrate skills and abilities required for lawful, safe and effective Professional practice without direct supervision.
THE PROFESSIONAL NURSE AND NURSING PRACTICE
The Nurse must:
- Be personally accountable for the care that she provides to clients/patient This means that she is answerable for her actions and omissions regardless of advice or directives from other health professionals.
- Be punctual to duty and hand over, patients and equipment physically after duty.
- Switch off her telephone/handsets when providing care to clients/patients and when teaching in the classroom.
- Avoid the use of self in the advertisement, promotion or sale of commercial products, services and illicit trade such as trafficking in hard drugs.
- Reject any form of gift, favour or gratification which might appear to have undue influence or advantage towards obtaining preferential treatment.
PROFESSIONAL NURSE AND PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES
The Nurse must:
- Work cooperatively and collaboratively with Professional Colleagues and other members of the health team for ethical procedure ONLY.
- Exhibit ‘Espirit de corps’ in all situations except when it involves fraudulent and unethical practices.
- Delegate functions and responsibilities to subordinates according to their abilities and competencies, supervising them accordingly.
- Not ridicule Professional Colleagues and especially NOT in the presence of Clients/Patients or other members of the health team.
THE PROFESSIONAL NURSE AND THE PUBLIC
The Nurse must:
- Protect the public against danger or harmful agents
- Have regard to the environment of care and its physical, psychological and social effects on the client/patient.
- Access the adequacy of resources and make known to appropriate persons and authorities, any circumstances which could place clients/patients in jeopardy or which militate against safe standards of practice.
- Contribute to policy making.
THE PROFESSIONAL NURSE AND THE GLOBAL HEALTH ORGANIZATION
The Nurse must:
- Implement global health initiatives and instruments to which the country, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NAMMN) are signatory.
- Participate actively in International and National Conferences and Conventions and contribute her quota to the development of Nursing Sciences.
The Code of Professional Conduct highlighted in this document is intended to empower the Professional Nurse Practitioner to provide effective care to individuals, families and communities. The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria subscribes to the fact that Nursing is an inalienable right of citizens and as such the professional Nurse has the responsibilities of assisting them to attain the optimal level of health. The Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria believes that this Code of Professional Conduct will serve as a springboard for providing effective NURSING Care in Nigeria.