Most professions have a code of ethics. That is, there is a list of agreed upon and accepted rules that govern how professionals in that profession make decisions and how they treat the public with whom they come into contact and how they treat themselves. Some professions, like professional nurses, have governing boards which monitor and adjust the code and to provide summaries for members of that profession.
There a many sources for nursing ethics. For example,
The nurse, in all professional relationships, practices with compassion and respect for the inherent dignity, worth and uniqueness of every individual, unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems.
is the first provision of the American Nursing Association code of ethics. Under this simple statement are five subdivisions as to how this rule is to be applied. Consequently the code is exhaustive and meant to protect the nurse and the patient while providing a high level of care and preserving the dignity of the patient.