Protecting patient autonomy is a key nursing role. The Code of Ethics (American Nurses Association, 2010), contextualizes the nurse's call to advocacy within the doctrine of informed consent. This article offers a primer on the legal, ethical, and practical aspects of procedural informed consent and examines the value of nursing's role within the process. The theory of nursing's value is sound, but the literature lacks data. Higher levels of evidence are necessary to make sound decisions about best practice for the process of informed consent. As such, this article concludes that adding nursing research to the current discourse should prove most valuable to patients, providers, and the nursing profession as a whole.
Wesley E. Cook, BSN, RN, CPSN, is a board certified plastic surgical nurse and master of science in nursing (FNP, 2015) candidate at Drexel University, having earned his BSN (2008) at the Johns Hopkins University. He is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgical Nurses and Chair of the Risk Department for Plastic Surgical Nursing. Mr. Cook specializes in clinical aesthetics nursing and legal nurse consulting, practicing in the greater Washington, DC. area.
Address correspondence to Wesley E. Cook, BSN, RN, CPSN, 215 C. St SE, Washington, DC 20003 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The author reports no conflicts of interest.