Because of their responsibilities for providing high-quality care, at times when they are continuously confronted with inherent professional and ethical challenges, nurses should meet high ethical standards of practice and conduct. Contrary to other countries, where codes of ethics for nurses are formulated to support those standards and to guide nurses' professional practice, Belgian nurses do not have a formal code of ethics. Nevertheless, professional ethics is recognized as an important aspect in legal and other professional documents. The aim of this article is to illustrate that codes of ethics are not the only professional documents reflecting nurses' values, norms and responsibilities. Other documents can also set out professional nursing ethics, and as such replace codes of ethics.