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Ethics for Registered Nurses

New Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses — NOW AVAILABLE

The CNA Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses is a statement of the ethical values of registered nurses and nurses licensed in extended roles, such as nurse practitioners. It demonstrates nurses’ commitment to persons with health-care needs and persons receiving care.

The Code is both aspirational and regulatory:

  • It is an aspirational document designed to inform everyone about the ethical values, subsequent responsibilities and endeavours of nurses.
  • It is also a regulatory tool. Nursing in Canada is a self-regulating profession; thus, nurses are bound to a code of ethics as part of a regulatory process that serves and protects the public.

2017 Highlights
This edition of the Code contains new and updated content that reflects contemporary practice needs.

  • medical assistance in dying
  • advance care planning
  • equity
  • primary health care
  • job action
  • workplace bullying
  • ethical models for reflection including Oberle and Raffin Bouchal
  • advocating for quality work environments

2017 Code table of contents [PDF, 69.5 KB]


Hard copies of the 2017 edition of the Code in the full and pocket versions are available for purchase. Discounts available for CNA members and nursing students.

Read the 2017 edition online now (Flip book)

Download the 2017 Code [PDF, 880.4 KB]

2008 Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses