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Keywords

health disparities, nursing ethics, nursing history, social justice, social reform, standards of practice

 

Authors

  1. Bekemeier, Betty MSN, MPH, RN
  2. Butterfield, Patricia PhD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

A critical review of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements, Nursing's Social Policy Statement, and Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice provides evidence that these documents present an inconsistent, ambiguous, and superficial conceptualization of social justice, and do not offer an adequate framework for nurses to address underlying issues that affect health outcomes. Despite expansive references to the historic role of nursing in social reform, the documents implicitly reinforce nursing practice directed toward the individual nurse-patient relationship and give short shrift to nursing models that endorse broad systems change intended to improve health.