Based on its core values of caring, integrity, diversity, and
excellence, the NLN has developed ethical principles for nursing
education programs, titled "The National League for Nursing Ethical
Principles for Nursing Education." These principles foster
environments that promote academic and professional integrity,
ultimately enhancing patient care and positive outcomes. The full text
of the document is available online at www.nln.org.
Background The NLN's Nursing Education Workforce Development
Advisory Council (NEWDAC) developed the document in response to concerns
expressed by NLN members about ethical issues encountered in nursing
education programs. These issues include academic dishonesty,
incivility, abusive and bullying behavior, breaches in confidentiality,
and defamatory statements.
The NLN fully recognizes the value of codes of ethics developed by
the American Nurses Association and the International Council of Nurses;
the use of these codes by practicing nurses to guide clinical practice
is a long-held standard in the nursing profession. The League also
appreciates previous efforts to consider an ethical code for nurse
educators (Rosenkoetter, 1983; Rosenkoetter & Milstead, 2010). The
current effort by the NLN seeks to broaden ethical guidelines for nurse
educators and address the development of a culture and environment based
on cooperation, support, and mutual enrichment that fulfills the
educational goals of a program of learning.
NLN Core Values CARING Caring actions result in positive outcomes
for colleagues, students, and members of the community at large. Caring
for self transforms into caring effectively for others; approaches to
caring are evidenced by open, two-way communication; active attempts to
understand others' needs; and development of an environment that
offers assistance to those who cannot care for their physical and
psychosocial needs. A learning environment should encourage freedom to
explore and question. Nurse educators need to foster academic
environments that support academic freedom, respect various points of
view, and promote curiosity. To care for others, one needs to care for
one's self. In order for students to learn caring behaviors, it is
crucial for nurse educators to model those behaviors to colleagues and
* Recognizing the importance of caring for self as foundational to
caring for others;
* Creating an environment that embraces acceptance and encourages
freedom to voice constructive criticisms and concerns;
* Engaging in relationship-centered interactions.
INTEGRITY Integrity involves treating others with
respect--communicating with one another in a positive, courteous manner,
honoring confidences, and maintaining a professional demeanor both in
and out of the workplace. Communication transcends verbal communication
and includes email, social networking, and texting. Integrity calls for
taking responsibility for one's actions and advocating for
professional values and beliefs. Decisions should reflect transparency,
doing the right thing for others, and seeking fairness and equality by:
* Modeling professional behaviors that demonstrate honesty, respect
for self and others, accountability, and self-growth;
* Maintaining confidences of colleagues, students, and those for
whom we care;
* Demonstrating courage to challenge the status quo and to advocate
for professional values and beliefs;
* Formulating decisions that reflect ethical principles.
DIVERSITY Diversity supports environments that celebrate the
uniqueness of individuals, fostering open, respectful, and candid
communication, h encourages innovative teaching strategies to address a
variety of learning styles, taking into consideration the impact of
cultural and experiential influences. Fair treatment of all is support
ed through nondiscriminatory practices in relation to race, ethnicity,
gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, age, physical
abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and other ideologies.
Diversity can be achieved by:
* Creating environments that provide open and respectful exchange
and promote fair practices among all persons;
* Fostering autonomy and freedom of conscience;
* Developing and implementing teaching strategies that respond
effectively to individual learning styles;
* Affirming the value and significance of contributions made by
persons of diverse backgrounds, experiences, and beliefs.
EXCELLENCE Excellence requires engagement in scholarship and
activities that promote professional growth, improvement, and
understanding. A healthy nursing academic work environment includes the
development and sustainability of a collegial environment, institutional
support for the nursing unit, and strong leadership that guides efforts
to create and implement transformative strategies with daring ingenuity.
Generate excellence by:
* Creating an environment that embraces collegiality, competence,
and support for ongoing professional growth;
* Fostering a spirit of inquiry that can produce a culture of
innovation and creativity;
* Constructing a climate conducive to transformational learning
through an improved education system.
American Nurses Association (2001). Code of ethics for nurses with
interpretive statements. Silver Spring, MD:Author.
International Council of Nurses. (2006). The ICN code of ethics for
nurses [brochure]. Geneva:Author.
Rosenkoetter, M. (1983).A code of ethics for nursing educators.
Nursing Outlook, 31, 288.
Rosenkoetter, M., & Milstead,J. (2010). A code of ethics for
nurse educators: Revised. Nursing Ethics, 17, 137-139.