A Close Look at NMC Codes of Practice


The NMC Codes of Practices contains mainly the professional standards which registered nurses and midwives are required to follow for giving quality healthcare services to the service users or patients for ensuring their improved health condition. There are four key aspects related to NMC which are Prioritise People, Practice Effectively, Promote Professionalism and Preserve Safety (NMC, 2015). According to NMC (2015), “Prioritise People” leads the nurses to focus their interest on their patients at first to ensure that the patient’s care and safety is their major concern and their dignity is properly preserved. “Practice effectively” requires the nurses to communicate properly with the patients to evaluate their needs and advise or deliver treatment to the patients to help them develop better health to the best ability, available evidence and practice of the nurses. “Preserve safety” requires the nurses to ensure safety of the patient and public by taking actions when and where appropriate. “Promote professionalism and trust” need the nurses to display commitment in care services to the indicated standards of practice to uphold the reputation related to their profession in all circumstances.


The “Prioritise People” aspect in the NMC guides the nurses about the way to treat patients as individuals and uphold their dignity at all conditions (NMC, 2015). As asserted by Ferri, Muzzalupo & Di Lorenzo (2015), dignity is regarded as the fundamental aspect to well-being of all individuals in each society. The nurses by ensuring dignity of the patients is going to offer basic human rights to the patients which in turn promote their self-respect that is related to their well-being. This is need as lack of dignity of the patients leads them to have poor self-esteem which makes them mentally unresponsive to the treatment in turn negatively influencing their health. Moreover, the aspect guides the way nurses are to listen to patients and respond positively to their concerns and preferences as it makes the nurses become “patient-friendly”.

The listening to patients on a regular basis also leads the nurses to get actively informed about any routine as well as sudden health changes in the patients (Oxelmark et al. 2018). This guides the nurses to properly assess the health progress of the patients and make required changes at the appropriate time in treatment procedure for better health outcome of the patient. The listening helps the nurses to develop a familiar relationship with the patients as they thought that they are not mere numbers on hospital bed but are treated as active individuals with concern by the nurses. In case the patients have not listened, they feel being isolated and treated in an ill-manner by the nurses that raise legal issues for the organisation and negative health circumstances for the patients.

The nurses by following “Prioritise people” aspect of NMC code is also going to be guided regarding the way they are to act for assessing and responding positively to the social, physical and psychological needs of the patients (NMC, 2015). This aspect makes the nurses act compassionately to the patients which are required for ensuring patient’s well-being because it makes the patients feel being in a familiar environment of care. It is going to help the nurses to avoid rise of discrimination issues among patients which generally arise because the patients feel that their needs are not properly catered (Simons, 2016). The aspect guides the nurses to act in best interest of the patient which helps them to develop balance and give respect to the patient’s view at time of acceptance or refusal of treatment (). This is required because it leads to ensure dignity of the patient. The aspect guides the nurses to properly inform to the patients in details regarding the whereabouts of treatment. This is important as the patients who may be refusing to accept a certain treatment previously due to fear and lack of knowledge regarding it may show their consent which is going to make the care process of the patient easier and better.

The “Prioritise people” guides the nurses to respect the right of privacy and confidentiality in all manners. This is because it leads the patients to develop faith towards the nurses that their health information is securely stored and would not be the reason for their abuse or neglect in the society. As commented by Dheensa, Fenwick & Lucassen (2016), patients avoid sharing much personal health information if they feel their privacy and confidently are not ensured by the nurses. This creates hindrances in proper care of the patients as treatment is given to them on partial health information which does not effectively improve their health. Moreover, consent of the patients is guided to be taken under this aspect of NMC code by the nurses while providing them treatment or care so that no complaints of forceful treatment or legal complications are experienced against the nurses or organisation (www.judiciary.uk, 2018). Thus, it informs that nurses are to keep patients at first while arranging healthcare for them for patient’s better health outcome.

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  • Dheensa, S., Fenwick, A., & Lucassen, A. (2016). ‘Is this knowledge mine and nobody else's? I don't feel that.’Patient views about consent, confidentiality and information-sharing in genetic medicine. Journal of medical ethics, 42(3), 174-179. Retrieved on 3rd October 2018 from:
  • Ferri, P., Muzzalupo, J., & Di Lorenzo, R. (2015). Patients’ perception of dignity in an Italian general hospital: a cross-sectional analysis. BMC health services research, 15(1), 41. Retrieved on 1st October 2018 from:
  • NMC (2015), The Code: Professional standards of practice and behaviour for nurses and midwives, Retrieved on 3rd October 2018 from:
  • Oxelmark, L., Ulin, K., Chaboyer, W., Bucknall, T., & Ringdal, M. (2018). Registered Nurses’ experiences of patient participation in hospital care: supporting and hindering factors patient participation in care. Scandinavian journal of caring sciences, 32(2), 612-621. Retrieved on 3rd October 2018 from:
  • Simons, S. R. M. (2016). Health promotion and patient empowerment in the palliative setting: a case study. Links to Health and Social Care, 1(1), 59-70. Retrieved on 3rd October 2018 from:
  • www.judiciary.uk (2018), The revised NMC Code – what you need to know - Independent Nurse, Retrieved on 2nd October 2018 from:

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