Code of Professional Conduct

This Code of Professional Conduct for Nurses and Midwives in Tanzania sets out conventional principles and expectations that will be binding to all nurses and midwives in Tanzania. Its purpose is to inform the professionals, employers, other professionals and the public on the standard of professional expected from a nurse.
For a long time, the conduct of nurses and midwives in Tanzania was regulated by the Code of Ethics and Etiquettes, which was adapted from the International Council of Nurses (ICN). In 2002, the Ministry of Health produced the Professional Code of Ethics for Nurses and Midwives in Tanzania, which was also adapted by Tanzania Nurses and Midwives Council. This document is developed to accommodate new approaches in ethics.

It is expected that these standards, which licensed nurses are required to observe, should also be disseminated in schools of nursing and midwifery and emphasized to all practicing nurses and midwives. This strategy is important in order to create a shared understanding across the profession regarding the expected standards of professional conduct.

The purpose of this Code is to:
  • Guide the professionals so as to attain acceptable standards expected of them when discharging their responsibilities.
  • Guide the professionals in the ever changing world of education, practice, research, leadership and management and the need for them to adopt and acquaint themselves with the change for the betterment of the delivery of health care.
  • Enable nurses and midwives to make decisions on patient care approaches and values within the complex health care delivery system and environment in which the nurse/midwife practices.

As a nurse or midwife licensed to practice by TNMC, you are personally accountable for your practice, when caring for patients and clients you must adhere to the following guiding principles:


The nurse/midwife should strive at all times when providing services to value human life and honor the patients/clients wishes regarding their quality of life, recognize and appreciate the uniqueness of each client regardless of his/her cultural and sociology economic status, promote an environment in which the human rights, values, cultural and spiritual beliefs of an individual are respected respect the privacy of a patient/client in such a way that during the procedure. Also privacy is provided and maintained throughout, ensure that no action or omission on her part or within her sphere of responsibility is harmful to the interests, condition, safety and well being of a patient/client, recognize and respect the roles of patients/ clients as partners in their care and their contribution they can make to it. In so doing the nurse and midwife shall have regard to the limits of professional practice, existing legislation, resources and goals of therapeutic relationship and respect the patients’/clients’ autonomy to undergo any health care intervention which is protected under the law.


All patients and clients have a right to receive information about their condition. Nurse must be sensitive to their needs and respect the wishes of those who refuse or are unable to receive information about their condition. Information should be accurate, truthful and presented in such a way as to make it easily understood. She may need to seek legal or professional advice or guidance from employer, in relation to the giving or withholding of consent. She must respect patients’ and clients’ autonomy – their right to decide whether or not to undergo any health care intervention – even where a refusal may result in harm, unless a court of law orders to the contrary.


Nurse and midwife must strive at all times to achieve and maintain high professional standards in providing quality care. In doing so she shall: demonstrate high level of competence in her practice, acknowledge the limits of professional competence and only practice. Also person of her status even when faced with an emergency situation.



The nurse and midwife is responsible for maintaining professional standards for quality care and be accountable for her actions. Therefore she shall observe the the responsibility of providing quality service in conscientious, diligent and efficient manner,obliged and expected to handle nursing and midwifery matters without undue delay, risk or unnecessary expense to the employer, client/patient,accountability for her actions or omissions through formal lines of authority and responsibility, respecting and complying with rules and regulations in a manner that promote public confidence, the integrity of nursing and midwifery services and profession, desist from conduct capable of drawing an impression of being involved in corruption,in case of delegation, delegate the nursing work with close supervision,as a manager, she has a duty towards patient, colleagues, community and her organization in which she works. And when facing professional dilemma, her first consideration in all circumstances must be the interest and safety of patients and clients,maintain personal hygiene, good nutrition and dress in acceptable manner in accordance with acceptable nursing and midwifery practice,


Every nurse and midwife has a duty to behave in a way that uphold good reputation of the profession, avoid using your registration status in the promotion of commercial product or service. not solicit, force or accept bribes from client/patient or family and relatives for any reasons, Must refuse any gift, favour or hospitality that might be interpreted, now or in the future, as attempt to obtain preferential consideration, use official time in a honest way to fulfill professional responsibility, be fair in distributing resource sat all times, to tell the truth and be loyal and avoid deception in whatever form,


Every nurse and midwife, when discharging her duties of providing services has a duty to work as a team which includes client/patient, client’s family and other health professionals in the health care delivery system, share her knowledge and skills and respect others views for the benefit of clients/patients, give due weight and consideration to official views and respecting colleagues, including their right to privacy especially when handling personal information,give credit to colleagues with outstanding performance and should not seek personal credit at their expenses, should act appropriately to protect patient and client from risks if she believes that her colleague is not fit to practice for reasons of misconduct, ill-health or incompetence, and at all times behave herself in such a manner that maintains the good reputation of the profession. She should not involve herself in drug or alcohol abuse.

Information about patients and clients must be treated as confidential and be used only for the purposes for which it was given. As it is impractical to obtain consent every time you need to share information with others, you should ensure that patients and clients understand that some information may be made available to other members of the team involved in the delivery of care.