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National League for Nursing Helps Craft Ethics Guidelines to Address Global Public Health Challenges for Nursing



Washington, DC, December 17, 2014 — In the wake of media focus on the bravery of nurses in the context of the Ebola crisis, the National League for Nursing was among the lead organizations in nursing, nursing education, and clinical ethics to come together to explore the ethical dimensions facing the profession. 

The summit has published A Blueprint for 21st-Century Nursing Ethics: Report of the National Nursing Summit. Thorough and timely, it reflects the group's wide-ranging discussions, offering valuable perspective along with practical guidance from leading clinicians and scholars on topics such as how to weigh personal risk against professional responsibilities. 

"This blueprint was in development before the Ebola epidemic really hit the media and certainly before the first US infections, which have since reinforced the critical need for our nation's health care culture to more strongly support ethical principles that enable effective ethical nursing practice," says Cynda Hylton Rushton, PhD, RN, FAAN, the Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Berman Institute of Bioethics, and lead organizer of the summit. 

"As the premier voice for nursing education, the NLN applauds this endeavor, which dovetails with the League's efforts to advance standards of care in all settings-nationally and internationally-through classroom and clinical instruction in evidence-based best practices," said NLN president Marsha Howell Adams, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, ANEF, who attended the conference. 

Added NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, "We were honored to contribute to these new ethics guidelines, and especially thank Dr. Rushton and Johns Hopkins for spearheading the inaugural summit and the report." 

The report incorporates recommendations in clinical practice, nursing education, nursing research, and nursing policy including:

Clinical Practice: Create tools and guidelines for achieving ethical work environments, evaluate their use in practice, and make the results easily accessible.

Nursing Education: Develop recommendations for preparing faculty to teach ethics effectively.

Nursing Research: Develop metrics that enable ethics research projects to identify common outcomes, including improvements in the quality of care, clinical outcomes, costs, and impacts on staff and the work environment.
Nursing Policy: Develop measurement criteria and an evaluation component that could be used to assess workplace culture and moral distress.

On the report's website, nurses and the public can learn more about ethical challenges and proposed solutions, share personal stories, and endorse the vision statement. By doing so, join the nation's largest nursing organizations, representing more than 700,000 nurses and nurse faculty. 

Additional information on nursing ethics developed by the Nursing Ethics Summit: 

"What Keeps Nurses Up at Night?" (video, 5:30)
Nursing Ethics Summit website
#NursingEthics Twitter Chats
Nursing Ethics Blogs


Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies.