This blog is the second in the series, Nurses on Boards: Building a Healthier America. Wolters Kluwer is a Founding Strategic Partner of the Nurses on Boards Coalition.
In this turbulent era in healthcare, we are all called to be cognizant of our input and its potential impact on our society and nursing, specifically in inner cities, rural America, suburban America, U.S. territories, and internationally. Sharing your input on important decisions often requires taking an ethical stance. The decision-making lenses that we use are impacted by our personal and professional core values, experiences, backgrounds, and preparedness. The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics
and Nurses on Boards Coalition’s Board Core Competencies
may serve as a guide as you take a stance for building a healthier America.
10 Key considerations in ethical decision-making for a positive outcome:
- Do your homework on the topic.
- Be objective; consider all perspectives before drawing your own conclusions.
- Maintain curiosity and an eagerness to explore all relevant ideas and approaches.
- Seek out the perspective of all stakeholders; listen with an open mind.
- Consider the social determinants of health.
- Express empathy; consider the implications of the decision on others.
- Provide evidence-based rationale to substantiate your position.
- Strive for the best possible outcomes for the benefit of all.
- Communicate your position with clarity, and be succinct.
- Engage in reflective practice.
According to Pam Rudisill, DNP, RN, MSN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at Community Health Systems (CHS) in Tennessee, AONE, Past President, "Nurse leaders are faced with challenges and opportunities every day that impact patient outcomes and quality of life for patients and their families. It is a moral imperative of the profession that our collective thoughts and actions model the highest ethical standards. The same principles chief nurse executives use in everyday practice are applicable to service on a board. The Code of Ethics developed by the American Nurses Association serves as a guide to assure nursing responsibilities are consistent with quality of care and ethical decision making.
Call to Action:
Your role and confidence as a nurse leader in taking an ethical stance is critical as you serve or aspire to serve on a board. We hope our column serves as a reflective tool to strengthen your ethical influence when serving on boards and in other leadership roles.
M. Lindell Joseph, PhD, RN, AONE Board of Directors and The University of Iowa College of Nursing
Laurie Benson, BSN, Executive Director, Nurses on Board Coalition
American Nurses Association (2015). Code of Ethics. http://www.nursingworld.org/codeofethics
International Council of Nursing (2012). The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses. Geneva, Switzerland. http://www.icn.ch/who-we-are/code-of-ethics-for-nurses
Nurses on Boards Coalition (2017). Board Core Competencies. http://www.nursesonboardscoalition.org
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