Metas de Enfermería

Metas de Enfermería

DICIEMBRE 2011 N° 10 Volumen 14

Ethics as a mission of the Board of Nursing: historical development in Spain

Section: Ethics and Society

How to quote

Ávila Olivares JA et ál. La ética como misión de la Organización Colegial de Enfermería: evolución histórica en España. Metas de Enferm dic 2011/ene 2012; 14(10): 58-64


1José Antonio Ávila Olivares, 2Vicente Bellver Capella, 3Eugenia Gordo Casañ, 4María Isabel Castelló López


1Enfermero y antropólogo.2Profesor titular de Filosofía del Derecho. Universitat de València.3Enfermera.

Contact address

José Antonio Ávila Olivares. Colegio de Enfermería de Alicante. C/ Capitán Dema, 16. 03007 Alicante

Contact email: ja.avila@wanadoo.es


Professional boards are responsible for setting up the regulations that govern professional conduct and they elaborate their respective codes of conduct to that very end. The first reference in Spain regarding the ethical and professional issues in the field of auxiliary healthcare personnel dates back to 1929, at which time board accreditation for healthcare professionals became compulsory. This article presents a historical overview of the fundamental references to ethics and code of conduct of the nursing profession in terms of the rules governing nursing boards from that date until the present time, encompassing nurse practitioners, midwives, nurses, assistant medical technicians, and nursing school graduates both in the 3 year (diploma) and 4 year (graduate) nursing programs.
Objective: To analyze how professional ethics and code of conduct have been regulated in the various board statutes and regulations that have governed nursing since the first compulsory boards in Spain to the present time.
Methodology: Search and retrospective analysis of all the regulations published in Gaceta de Madrid and in the Official Gazette, from 1929 to the present, which have regulated the board and operation of provincial boards of healthcare auxiliary personnel (nurses) and their respective general councils.
Results and conclusions: In parallel to the development of regulations for nurse practitioners, midwives and nurses, a second type of regulation on nursing ethics and code of nurses was also established, which to date has had five milestones: the ethical code set forth in the Internal Regulations of the Official Midwifery Board, short-lived but of relevant significance; the Moral Code of Assistant Medical Technicians (term used in the past to refer to registered nurses) of 1954, which incorporated the oath of Florence Nightingale; the Ethics Code of the Official Board of Assistant Medical Technicians and nursing graduates (3-year programme) of Barcelona of 1986; the Ethics Code of the Spanish Nursing Board of 1989, approved by the previously known General national Council of Boards of Nursing Diploma Holders; and the Ethics Code of the Valencia Community, approved by the Valencia Community Board of Nursing in 2010.


national board of nursing; nursing board; Nursing ethics; professional ethics

Versión en Español


La ética como misión de la Organización Colegial de Enfermería: evolución histórica en España

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