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The contemporary Code of Ethics governing the conduct of professional nurses is an extension of the “Nightingale Pledge” first composed in 1893 by a nursing instructor named Lystra Gretter, which was itself an adaptation of the Hippocratic Oath originating in ancient Greece. [See https://www.childrenscentralcal.org/PRESSROOM/PUBLICATIONS/NURSINGEXCELLENCE9/Pages/CodeOfEthicsForNurses.aspx]. As with the Hippocratic Oath the nursing code of ethics sets forth a series of principles guiding the conduct of nurses, with an emphasis on patient care and integrity, and a deep commitment to continuous improvement, including remaining current on advances in the knowledge and practice of medicine. The Code of Ethics maintained by the American Nurses Association includes as its first provision a statement of commitment to the welfare of the community and to the treatment of all patients with equal levels of care irrespective of socioeconomic status or the “nature of health problems.” Provision Two of the code declares that the “nurse's primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, or community.” In all, there are nine provisions to the Nurses’ Code of Ethics, the complete text of which is available at the link provided below.
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