Legal and Ethical Issues in Practice


Legaland Ethical Issues in Practice


Intheir every day to day life, nurses are tasked with duties andresponsibilities under which they should take into account law andethical standards to undertake them diligently. Their roles arealways welcoming and dynamic and help in attainment of qualitypatient care. Undertaking these roles has not been a smooth processas these nurses encounter various challenges. More specifically,nurses struggle with the ethical and legal issues surroundingadministration of their roles. As a result, there is need for thenurses to understand what is expected of them and in return beresponsible and accountable for their actions as well as act in linewith their competence and limited to their practice. This paperdiscusses how accountability, authority, and responsibility help thenurses in meeting their ethical and legal responsibilities.

Ethicaland legal issues

Apatient is at the core of a professional nursing practice and hiscondition should not be a basis on how the nurse together with his/her practices views the patient. The achievement and ability to staytrue to the nursing practice revolve around a unique set of ethicaland legal practices for the nurse. A nurse should always make ethicaldecisions that revolve around delivering with care and patients’advocacy as they plan and provide safe patient care. The main ethicalprinciples include respect, justice, and the ability to remain trueto one’s commitment. The principles together with reference to theAmerican Nurses Association code of ethics act as a guide to thenurse as they make decisions on ethical issues. The code spells theexpected ethical standards for nurses.

Intheir line of duty, the actions of the nurses as they carry out theirroles should show accountability to their employer, profession, lawsof the land, and the individual patient and the public at large(Ginny, 2013). Nurses should be accountable in safe guarding thehealth and welfare of the patients by upholding the standardstipulated by the code of ethics. They should also be aware of whatis expected of them and be responsible for their actions and be sureto act within the stipulated level of competence and practice. It istherefore important for the individual to take responsibility andensure they are empowered with appropriate education and training(Ginny, 2013). The relevant authority should also be keen to take thenecessary measures to ensure that ethical and legal issues in nursingare followed to the latter and as the law stipulates.


Legaland ethical issues are a major concern in regard to the matters thatguide the daily practices of nurses. It is therefore important toensure that actions that promote these issues are followed to thelatter. This will ensure nurses work in a smooth environment and candelegate their duties with diligence.


Ginny,W. (2013). Legaland Ethical Issues in Nursing (6thedition). NewYork: Jonathan David Publishers