Code of Ethics

Called to Care and Healing :
Code of Ethics for Nursing Students


The indelible mark of the graduate of the Nursing Programs at Aquinas College is captured in these characteristics and behaviors:

  • protecting and defending the dignity and freedom of every person regardless of gender, color, ethnicity, culture, diversity, socio-economic status or the reason for the illness or station in life;
  • integrating the values and traditions of the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, founders of Aquinas College, the Mission of the College and the Philosophy of the School of Nursing into the professional practice of nursing built on the moral principles of truth, human dignity, compassion and charity for every person who has ever been born;
  • caring for the sick, the suffering, the disenfranchised, the vulnerable, those at the beginning of life, those at the end of life and those who live in the shadows of life;
  • providing excellence in nursing practice in caring and healing the whole person through the integration of the theories and science of nursing, the natural sciences, humanities and religious studies;
  • embracing responsibilities as leaders and citizens of the community and of this nation to participate in shaping health and social policies through professional nursing in the tradition of Aquinas College; and
  • engaging in life-long learning as a moral commitment to assure continuing competency in nursing practice.

As Aquinas College nursing students you are engaged in an exciting and dynamic culture of learning that enables you to acquire and synthesize new knowledge and develop core competencies for nursing practice. As nursing students you are expected to exercise the same responsible and accountable behaviors that will be expected of you when you graduate and then practice nursing in an ever-expanding health care world. We expect you to engage in professional behaviors as shown by your relationships with faculty, staff, other students, by your professional demeanor in clinical experiences, in appearance and in all forms of communications. The administration and faculty of the School of Nursing hold you accountable for your behaviors in these areas.

Code of Ethics for Nursing Students

The Aquinas College School of Nursing, consistent with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th ed. 2009) promulgates this Code of Ethics for Nursing Students applicable to all students in the Nursing Programs at Aquinas College. Questions regarding the Code of Ethics should be addressed to the Faculty, Program Directors or to the Dean of Nursing.

The educational experience of students within the School of Nursing is based on the moral principles of human dignity and respect for life from conception to natural death, the pursuit of truth, freedom, compassion, the exercise of an informed conscience, integrity, responsibility, self discipline and human service governed by charity as a health care professional and a citizen of the community which are inherent in the profession of nursing. The responsibility of students to adhere this Code of Ethics is parallel to the responsibility of professionals to adhere to the standards of professional nursing practice.

As nursing students at Aquinas College we embrace our first responsibility to all those entrusted to our care and with those with whom we work in the course of our studies through:

  1. Respecting and defending the dignity and freedom of every person: self, colleagues, faculty, patients and families and all those with whom we work;
  2. Respecting and advocating for the rights of all patients, families and colleagues;
  3. Maintaining confidentiality, truthfulness and integrity in all privileged information and in the use of methods of communication especially the emerging social networks;
  4. Providing compassionate care to every person entrusted to our care regardless of their age, color, gender, religious preferences, illness, the reason for their illness and wherever they call home;
  5. Engaging in evidenced based practice to assure the highest quality nursing care;
  6. Refusing to participate in any action, behavior or procedure that is unethical, violates the dignity, freedom, conscience and privacy of self or others and that places others at risk;
  7. Engaging in self-care behaviors and activities through a balance of work and leisure time;
  8. Facilitating the development of a caring community for other students in pursuit of their education through caring, listening, peer mentoring, advocacy, and other means of support;
  9. Supporting policies, procedures and guidelines of Aquinas College and the School of Nursing and use existing structures to promote understanding, dialogue and to facilitate responsible change.


Office of the School of Nursing
4210 Harding Pike
Nashville, TN 37205
Phone: (615) 297-7545 ext. 446
Fax: (615) 783-0562

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We are not taught just "book knowledge," we are also taught practical skills that will enable us to behave as professionals in a nursing environment.

- Mary-Frances N.

Here everybody knows each other. Even the teachers, they know you by name and they truly care. In high school with so many students it was so hard to know everyone. Here the teachers interact on a personal level.

- Cinthia J.

The faculty, together with the Dominican Sisters, play a big role in ensuring that my fellow students and I have a very fruitful, and satisfying experience at Aquinas.

- Mary-Frances N.

I wanted to attend a college where I would be allowed to freely and fully practice and grow in my faith, while receiving a dynamic, modern nursing education.

- Mary-Frances N.

"Going into the medical field, I especially wanted a school that valued the dignity of human life."

- Maria

Since I wanted to go into the medical field, I really wanted to also have an ethical and philosophical dimension to it where we're focused on the dignity of the human person, and seeing each patient as an individual made in the image and likeness of God.

- Eva M.

I think the nursing program at Aquinas really prepares you. It's very rigorous, but I think that the level of respect that the hospitals and community have for it speak to that,  so it's worth it all in the end.

- Audrey S.

We are not taught just "book knowledge," we are also taught practical skills that will enable us to behave as professionals in a nursing environment.

- Mary-Frances N.

"I was attracted to Aquinas because it taught the Catholic Faith and had a good nursing program."

- Mary F.

At Aquinas, everybody is considered equal and worthy of the respect and dignity that is due to all human persons made in the image and likeness of God.

- Mary-Frances N.

In high school, I knew I was going to study nursing in college. And so whenever I was wondering where I should go to school, they said go to Aquinas College because Aquinas nurses are selected before anyone else, from the hospitals, they seek us out. So that was definitely a cool thing about Aquinas and why I wanted to study nursing.

- Sarah G.

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