Code of Ethics/Conduct

This position statement was archived 11/7/2012. AMSN prefers to endorse the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics for Nurses.


  • A code of ethics for nursing promotes a quality of nursing practice that protects the rights of the adult patient.
  • The medical-surgical nurse prevents harm to the adult patient by accepting accountability and responsibility for nursing actions.
  • The medical-surgical nurse makes patient care decisions based on the American Nurses Association (ANA) Code of Ethics.
  • The medical-surgical nurse collaborates with other health care professionals in protecting and promoting care that is based on ethical principles.
  • The medical-surgical nurse promotes a positive image of nursing to the adult patient, the community and the media.
  • The medical-surgical nurse maintains the integrity of the profession of nursing.


The medical-surgical nurse faces unique moral and ethical situations on a daily basis when caring for the adult patient. The Code of Ethics for Nurses sets forth the primary goals, values, and obligations of the nursing profession to prevent illness, alleviate suffering and promote health. The Code expresses the medical-surgical nurses understanding of nursing's commitment to society (ANA, 2001).


The Code of Ethics for Nurses, published by the American Nurses Association, is the standard by which ethical conduct is guided and evaluated by the profession of nursing.


Ethical is the reasons for decisions about how one ought to act (ANA, 2001).


Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (2006). Scope and Standards of Medical-Surgical Nursing Practice. Pitman, NJ:  Author.

American Nurses Association (2001). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Retrieved from

International Council of Nursing(2006). The ICN code of ethics for nurses. Retrieved September 18, 2009, from