Code of Ethics
The American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, Inc. (AAOHN) Code of Ethics has been developed in response to the nursing profession's acceptance of its goals and values and the trust conferred upon it by society to guide the conduct and practices of the profession. As professionals, occupational and environmental health nurses accept the responsibility and inherent obligation to uphold these values.
The Code of Ethics is based on the belief that the goal of occupational and environmental health nurses is to promote the worker, worker populations and community's health and safety. This specialized practice focuses on promotion and restoration of health, prevention of illness and injury and protection from occupational and environmental hazards. The occupational and environmental nurse has a unique role in protecting the integrity of the workplace and the work environment.
The client can be workers, workers' families/significant others, worker populations, community groups and employers. The purpose of the AAOHN Code of Ethics is to serve as a guide for licensed1 nurses to maintain and pursue professionally recognized ethical behavior in providing occupational and environmental health and safety services.
Below is a listing of the AAOHN Code of Ethics.
AAOHN Code of Ethics
- Occupational and environmental health nurses provide health, wellness, safety and other related services to clients with regard for human dignity and rights, unrestricted by consideration of social or economic status, personal attributes or the nature of the health status.
- Occupational and environmental health nurses, as licensed health care professionals, accept obligations to society as professional and responsible members of the community.
- Occupational and environmental health nurses strive to safeguard clients' rights to privacy by protecting confidential information and releasing information only as required or permitted by law.
- Occupational and environmental health nurses promote collaboration with other professionals, community agencies and stakeholders in order to meet the health, wellness, safety and other related needs of the client.
- Occupational and environmental health nurses maintain individual competence in nursing practice, based on scientific knowledge, and recognize and accept responsibility for individual judgments and actions, while complying with appropriate laws and regulations.
1 The AAOHN Code of Ethics and Interpretative Statements were reviewed and revised in 2009. Based on a 2010 by-laws change to include licensed practical/vocational nurses as members, a language change was made in 2012 from “registered professional nurse” to “licensed nurse”.