Chapter 14

THE CNA CODE OF ETHICS PART II: NURSES WORKING TOWARD ENDING SOCIAL INEQUITIES

Kathleen Stephany and Piotr Majkowski

Abstract

Nurses as a group have the knowledge and possess the compassion that is needed to improve the lives of the underprivileged. As mandated by the (CNA) Code of Ethics Part II, thirteen specific ways to eliminate social inequities are presented as a means of addressing and/or eliminating social inequities. Poverty is a worldwide problem that has been growing instead of subsiding and has a negative impact on people’s health. Because socioeconomic determinants of health are closely tied to health outcomes, the poor use additional and more expensive health services. In order to positively impact populations that are suffering, one effective way to get the attention of policy makers is to build a business case that demonstrates cost saving measures. Homelessness is on the increase in Canada. The perception is that it is too expensive to provide housing and treatment for people who suffer from addictions and/or mental illness is not necessarily supported by fact. A review of a recent study commissioned by government provides evidence that a substantial amount of money could be saved if housing and treatment was made available for these people. Ideas are suggested that may help nurses to instigate other positive changes in the lives of others, not just for some people but for everyone.

Total Pages: 202-212 (11)

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