National Student Nurses Association Code of Ethics

National Student Nurses Association Code of Ethics

In addition to the professional code of ethics for nurses, WGU nursing students are held to the nursing student code of ethics that addresses both academic and clinical conduct. The following provisions apply as well as the full interpretative statements found at (opens...

Nursing students have a responsibility to society in learning the academic theory and clinical skills needed to provide safe, quality, nursing care. The clinical setting presents unique challenges and responsibilities for nursing students while caring for human beings in a variety of health care environments.


  1. Advocacy: A responsibility of nursing students is to advocate for the rights of all clients.
  2. Maintain client confidentiality.
    • 2.1 - Confidentiality: Access to and sharing of information that identifies a specific client, their condition, and other information must be guarded with the best interests of the client in mind.
    • 2.2 - Academic Setting: In discussing client cases in the academic setting, care must be taken to avoid breaching confidentiality and violating HIPAA regulations; this includes appropriate selection of the time and place of discussion, people attending the discussion, and omitting data not necessary to the purpose of the discussion or that discloses a client’s personal identity.
    • 2.3 - Special Circumstances: To protect the safety of the patient, other parties, and in cases of mandatory disclosure for public health reasons there may by times where the nursing student is obligated to report confidential information.
  3. Take appropriate action to ensure the safety of clients, self, and others.
  4. Provide care for clients in a timely, compassionate and professional manner.
  5. Communicate client care in a truthful, timely, and accurate manner.
    • 5.1 - Truthful communication: Veracity is key to developing trusting relationships in academic and clinical environments. Truthful and thorough communication between nursing students and nursing faculty or preceptors, and between nursing students and healthcare professionals is a key component to providing safe, quality care within an optimal clinical learning environment.
    • 5.2 - Timely communication: Communicating client care information at the appropriate time is a duty of nursing students. Timely communication allows for assessments, interventions, and changes to the plan of care be initiated and completed in a timely manner.
    • 5.3 - Accurate communication: Accurate communication is a responsibility of nursing students. Nursing students, by providing an accurate, concise, and timely report on a client’s assessment and status changes helps the nurse in charge of the client’s care and the primary care provider to make informed client care decisions and follow-up with further assessments as required.
  6. Actively promote the highest level of moral and ethical principles and accept responsibility for our actions.
    • 6.1 - Promote the highest level of moral and ethical principles.
    • 6.2 - Accepting responsibility for our actions: Nursing students are accountable to their educational institution, the health care institution that provides the clinical learning environment, and above all to clients and society as a whole.
  7. Promote excellence in nursing by encouraging lifelong learning and professional development.
  8. Treat others with respect and promote an environment that respects human rights, values, and choice of cultural and spiritual beliefs.
  9. Collaborate in every reasonable manner with the academic faculty and clinical staff to ensure the highest quality of client care.
  10. Use every opportunity to improve faculty and clinical staff understanding of the learning needs of nursing students.
  11. Encourage faculty, clinical staff, and peers to mentor nursing students.
  12. Refrain from performing any technique or procedure for which the student has not been adequately trained.
  13. Refrain from any deliberate action or omission of care in the academic or clinical setting that creates unnecessary risk of injury to the client, self or others.
    • 13.1 - Academic or clinical setting: Nursing students must recognize that actions influence the reputation of the nursing program and the profession of nursing. Therefore, whether on campus or in clinical settings, nursing students have a responsibility to come prepared to provide safe quality nursing care under the direction of faculty or preceptor.
    • 13.2 - Creating unnecessary risk of injury to the client, self, or others.
    • 13.3 - Refraining from any deliberate action or omission of care that creates unnecessary risk to the client, self, or others.
  14. Assist the staff nurse or preceptor in ensuring there is a full disclosure and that proper authorizations are obtained from clients regarding any form of treatment or research.
  15. Abstain from the use of alcoholic beverages or any substances that impair judgement in an academic and clinical setting.
  16. Strive to achieve and maintain an optimal level of personal health.
  17. Support access to treatment and rehabilitation for students who are experiencing impairments related to substance abuse and mental or physical health issues.
  18. Uphold school policies and regulations related to academic and clinical performance, reserving the right to challenge and critique rules and regulations as per school grievance policy.




Article Number: 20507, 2901

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