Which Documents Directly Supports the Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia

Given the good reputation of nurses and midwives in the community, it is reasonable to conclude that these codes have done their part to maintain higher standards of professional conduct than can be expected of the “ordinary person on the street” (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2010). Among these areas, there are policy and value statements that guide the professional behaviour and behavioural expectations of all nurses and midwives, regardless of the context of the practice. These include those who work in direct clinical care and those who work in non-clinical roles such as management, education, research, regulation or policy. In its submission for public consultation, the ANMF invited the NMBA to consider merging codes of conduct and codes of ethics for professions into a single document, just as the “Professional Limits” document had been included in the “Codes of Conduct” document. We argued that there are a large number of regulatory documents that nurses and midwives must read and review in order to carry out their daily practice safely. It is therefore useful to streamline their professional reference material by summarizing the codes into a single document, as is the case in the United Kingdom (Nursing and Midwifery Council, United Kingdom). However, there was not enough support from all stakeholders to merge codes of conduct and codes of ethics to continue this term at this time. JBI. (2007).

Effective Dietary Interventions for Overweight and Obese Children. Best Practices: Evidence-Based Fact Sheets for Health Professionals, 11(1), 1-4 jbi.global// These are documents that are NOT available in the public domain but are available at the School of Nursing and Midwifery through Blackboard. The fact that this is so should not come as a surprise. A code of conduct for nurses in Australia was first published in 1990, which included guidelines on the minimum standards of conduct expected by nurses. It is also not surprising that the Australian Nursing Federation (ANF) at the time was a leading organisation in the development of the Code and continued to participate in subsequent revisions over the years. In 2008, the ANF again contributed to the first Code of Professional Conduct for Midwives in Australia. The Australian Council of Nurses and Midwives` (NMBA) new Code of Conduct for Nurses and Obstetrics and the Code of Conduct for Midwives came into effect on 1 March 2018 for all nurses and midwives in Australia. The codes set out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and behavioural expectations of all nurses and midwives in all practice settings. The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) sets standards, codes and guidelines that together define the requirements for professional and safe nursing and midwifery practice in Australia.

NMBA President Associate Professor Lynette Cusack RN said codes of conduct are important guidelines for ensuring the safety of obstetric care and care. According to Roy Morgan Research, nurses have continued their supremacy in Australia`s most prestigious professions, with “94% of Australians in 2017 (up 2% from 2016) calling nurses `very high` or `high` for their `ethics and honesty`. Since roy Morgan`s annual “Picture of professions” survey began in 1994, nurses have remained at the top as the most trusted professions. While there was overwhelming support from nursing for a code of conduct for nurses and midwives, the NMBA chose to stick to two codes. On March 1, 2018, a new code of conduct for nurses and a new code of conduct for midwives will come into force. These documents are essentially identical, except for the different terminology of “person-centred practice” and “women-centred practice”. The codes differ significantly from their predecessors in terms of language and layout. The focus is on the health and cultural safety of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Members` attention is specifically drawn to a definition of “cultural safety” in the glossary provided by our colleagues at the Congress of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nurses and Midwives (CATSINaM).

Other notable inclusions include mandatory reporting, bullying and harassment, end-of-life care, and employment boundaries. Principle 3 of the Code states that “Australia has always been a culturally and linguistically diverse nation” and emphasizes the care of Indigenous communities. To support the health of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people and highlight the importance of nursing and midwifery that takes into account people`s culture and needs, nurses: These codes were developed following extensive consultations with nurses and midwives, including the Aboriginal Nurses and Midwives Congress and Torres Strait Islanders, and were based on academic research and an Analysis of Behavioural Complaints. Under national law, the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) is required to regularly review all standards, codes and guidelines applicable to the nursing and midwifery professions. This ensures that these documents remain evidence-based and relevant to current professional and social needs and expectations. Earlier this year, the NMBA began revising the Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses in Australia and the Code of Ethics for Midwives in Australia. Extensive research included a review of relevant international and national literature and other codes of conduct; an analysis of reports (complaints) on the behaviour and behaviour of nurses and midwives; Workshops with key groups, important working groups with stakeholders (one for the nursing and midwifery professions); focus groups; and a public comment period. During this process, it was decided to streamline the documentation by including the Nurses` Guide to Professional Boundaries and the Midwife`s Guide to Professional Boundaries in Codes of Conduct. The new codes for nurses and midwives cover four areas, namely: “All nurses and midwives share the responsibility to respect this trust, and the codes provide guidance on how to do so. (The codes will provide reasonable guidance on how to work in partnership with individuals and communities to ensure they receive care that meets their needs. “The new codes are available on the NMBA website and replace the existing Nurses` Code of Conduct and The Code of Conduct for Midwives, as well as the professional boundary documents as of March 1, 2018.

While the main purpose of the codes of conduct is to guide the professional behaviour and behaviour of nurses and midwives, they also serve as standards that the public can expect from nurses and midwives in Australia. The new codes of conduct can be found in the “Professional Standards” section of the NMBA website, along with a number of resources that the NMBA has developed to help nurses and midwives learn about their new codes, including behavioural case studies and a fact sheet. 1 Roy Morgan Research. www.roymorgan.com/findings/7244-roy-morgan-image-of-professions-may-2017-201706051543 2 Australian Office of Nursing and Midwifery. 2010. Code of Conduct for Nurses in Australia. (adopted by the Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2008), available from www.nursingmidwfieryboard.gov.au 3 Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel. Health Practitioner Regulation National Law Act 2009. Available at: www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2009-045 4 Nursing and Midwifery Council, United Kingdom. The Code: Professional Standards of Practice and Conduct for Nurses and Midwives. Available at: www.nmc.org.uk/standards/code/ The NMBA is asking nurses and midwives to review these resources and reflect on how the new codes of conduct relate to their practice, which can be reflected in continuing professional education (CPD) hours.

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