The NSNA Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct


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

The Code of Academic and Clinical Conduct is based on an understanding that to practice nursing as a student is an agreement to uphold the trust with which society has placed in us.

The statements of the Code provide guidance for the nursing student in the personal development of an ethical foundation and need not be limited strictly to the academic or clinical environment but can assist in the holistic development of the person.


As students are involved in the clinical and academic environments we believe that ethical principles are a necessary guide to professional development. Therefore within these environments we:

    1. Advocate for the rights of all clients.

    2. Maintain client confidentiality.

    3. Take appropriate action to ensure the safety of clients, self, and others.

    4. Provide care for the client in a timely, compassionate and professional manner.

    5. Communicate client care in a truthful, timely and accurate manner.

    6. Actively promote the highest level of moral and ethical principles and accept responsibility for our actions.

    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.

    14. Assist the staff nurse or preceptor in ensuring that there is 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 in the academic and clinical setting that impair judgment.

    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.


Adopted by the NSNA House of Delegates, Nashville, TN, on April 6, 2001.