Vision of Ethical Practice


The International Association of Forensic Nurses expects its members to aspire to the highest standards of ethical nursing practice. This vision of ethics is a framework for approaching professional decisions and stimulating ethical dialogue based on the ideals of our organization.

Forensic nurses acknowledge the importance of membership in a global society. This includes providing forensic nursing care in a manner that respects the uniqueness of the patient or client. Forensic nurses collaborate with nurses, healthcare providers, and other professionals throughout the world to promote ethically informed and culturally competent practices.

When faced with ethical choices, forensic nurses should use recognized ethical frameworks for decision making. The guiding principles of ethical decision making are autonomy, justice, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. Forensic nurses should consult and collaborate with appropriate ethical resources.


Fidelity to Patients and Clients
Forensic nurses serve patients and clients faithfully and incorruptibly. Forensic nurses respect confidentiality and advise patients and clients about the limits of confidentiality as determined by their practice setting.

Responsibility to the Public
Forensic nurses have a professional responsibility to serve the public welfare. Forensic nurses should be actively concerned with the health and welfare of the global community. Forensic nurses should recognize their role in preventing violence, which includes understanding the societal factors, such as oppression that promote violence. Forensic nurses acknowledge the value and dignity of all human beings and strive to create a world where violence is not accepted.

Obligation to Science
Forensic nurses should seek to advance nursing and forensic science, understand the limits of their knowledge, and respect the truth. Forensic nurses should ensure that their research and scientific contributions are thorough, accurate and unbiased in design and presentation. Forensic nurses should incorporate evidence based knowledge in practice decisions.
Conflicts of interest should be disclosed. Scientific misconduct, such as fabrication, falsification, slander, libel, and plagiarism are incompatible with this Vision of Ethical Practice. Public comments regarding scientific matters should be made with care and precision, devoid of unsubstantiated claims, exaggeration, and/or premature conclusions.

Dedication to Colleagues
Forensic nurses perform work honestly and competently, fulfill obligations, and safeguard proprietary information. Forensic nurses should regard the tutelage of students as a trust conferred by society for the promotion of the student’s learning and professional development. Forensic nurses should treat colleagues with respect, share ideas honestly, and give credit for their contributions.
The Vision of Ethical Practice was revised by the Ethics Committee in 2008, reviewed by Members and approved by the Board in November of 2008.