Nurses play a critical role in the success of any healthcare delivery system. Nursing, unlike most professions, requires a nurse to bond with a patient so that the latter can receive the best care possible. While nursing care is usually tailored to meet a patient’s specific therapeutic needs, a nurse is required to be kind to earn a patient's trust to understand his or her client better. Consequently, the nursing environment encourages constant engagement between nurses and patients to enhance recovery and patient satisfaction. However, irrespective of the dominant roles that nurses play, the profession has set professional boundaries that require nurses always to hold patient information in strict confidence and avoid inappropriate relationships.
Comparatively, nurses access more patient information than any other healthcare personnel because they regularly interact with the patient. To avoid a breach of trust, nurses are required to observe high levels of privacy and confidentiality of patients’ information. Secrecy as a professional boundary is most likely to be breached given the current nature of information sharing through networked technologies. However, the nursing code of conduct prohibits either intentionally or unintentionally sharing of confidential information of patients in any form because it compromises their client’s dignity and impacts negatively on the quality of care.
The nursing code of conduct strongly bars nurses from participating in acts such as professional sexual misconduct and sharing patients' confidential information. Breaching professional boundaries negatively impacts the quality of health care delivered as well as the dignity of the patient. Therefore, nurses must take it upon themselves to observe the set boundaries before, during, and after their interactions with patients.