Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses (2008 Centennial Edition)
Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses
The Canadian Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses is a statement of the ethical values of nurses and of nurses’ commitments to persons with health-care needs and persons receiving care. It is intended for nurses in all contexts and domains of nursing practice and at all levels of decision-making. It is developed by nurses for nurses and can assist nurses in practising ethically and working through ethical challenges that arise in their practice with individuals, families, communities and public health systems. Purpose of the Code
The Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses serves as a foundation for nurses’ ethical practice. It 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. The code serves as a means of self-evaluation and self-reflection for ethical nursing practice and provides a basis for feedback and peer review. It also serves as an ethical basis from which nurses can advocate for quality work environments that support the delivery of safe, compassionate, competent and ethical care. Nurses recognize the privilege of being part of a self-regulating profession and have a responsibility to merit this privilege. The code informs other health-care professionals as well as members of the public about the ethical commitments of nurses and the responsibilities nurses accept as being part of a self-regulating profession. The specific values and ethical responsibilities expected of registered nurses in Canada are set out in part I. Endeavours that nurses may undertake to address social inequities as part of ethical practice are outlined in part II.
Part I: Nursing Values and Ethical Responsibilities
The first part of the code, “Nursing Values and Ethical...