Standards of Practice for Registered Nurses and Nurse Practitioners are broad, authoritative, principle-based statements that articulate conduct or performance expected of registered nurses and nurse practitioners. The primary purpose of standards is to describe the minimal level of performance expected of registered nurses and nurse practitioners (including interim licence holders) in their practice, against which actual performance can be measured. All registered nurses and nurse practitioners are responsible for understanding the standards and applying them to their practice. The standards are interrelated and intended to be dynamic to describe safe, competent, compassionate and ethical expectations across all settings and domains.
The Canadian Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses (2017) serves as a foundation for nurses’ ethical practice.
The specific values and ethical responsibilities expected of registered nurses are set out in part I of the Code. Endeavours that nurses may undertake to address social inequities as part of ethical practice are outlined in part II. The Code provides guidance for ethical relationships, responsibilities, behaviours and decision-making, and it is to be used in conjunction with the professional standards, laws and regulations that guide practice.