The aim of this study was to explore how Belgian nurses view issues related to the development, dissemination and implementation of a code of ethics for nurses. Fifty nurses took part in eight focus groups. The participants stated that, on the whole, a code of ethics for nurses would be useful. They stressed that a code should be a practical and useful instrument developed by nurses for nurses, and that it should be formulated and presented in a practical way, just as educational courses dealing specifically with codes of ethics require a practical approach to be effective. They emphasized that the development of a code should be an ongoing process, enabling nurses to provide input as they reflect on the ethical issues dealt with in the code and apply the code in their practice. Finally, they stressed the need for support at institutional level for the effective implementation of a code.