Code of conduct for nurses
The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) undertakes functions as set by the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law (the National Law), as in force in each state and territory. The NMBA regulates the practice of nursing and midwifery in Australia, and one of its key roles is to protect the public. The NMBA does this by developing standards, codes and guidelines that together establish the requirements for the professional and safe practice of nurses and midwives in Australia.
In developing the Code of conduct for nurses, and consistent with its commitment to evidence-based structures, systems and processes, the NMBA carried out a comprehensive review that was informed by research and by the profession. The research included an international and national literature review of other codes and similar publications, a comparative analysis of the predecessor code of conduct to other codes and an analysis of notifications (complaints) made about the conduct and behaviour of nurses. Input was extensively sought in the form of focus groups, workshops, an expert working group and other consultation strategies which included the profession, the public and professional organisations.
The Code of conduct for nurses (the code) sets out the legal requirements, professional behaviour and conduct expectations for nurses in all practice settings, in Australia. The code is written in recognition that nursing practice is not restricted to the provision of direct clinical care. Nursing practice settings extend to working in a non-clinical relationship with clients, working in management, leadership, governance, administration, education, research, advisory, regulatory, policy development roles or other roles that impact on safe, effective delivery of services in the profession and/or use of the nurse’s professional skills.
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