Canadian Nurses Association
Part I. Nursing Values and Ethical Responsibilities
Nurses in all contexts and domains of practice and at all levels of decision-
making bear the ethical responsibilities identified under each of the seven
primary nursing values.
These responsibilities apply to nurses’ interactions with
all persons who have health-care needs or are receiving care as well as with students,
colleagues and other health-care providers. The responsibilities are intended to
guide nurses in applying the
to their practice. They also serve to articulate
nursing values to employers, other health-care providers and the public. Nurses help
their colleagues implement the
, and they ensure that nursing students are
acquainted with it.
A. Providing Safe, Compassionate, Competent and Ethical Care
Nurses provide safe, compassionate, competent and ethical care.
1. Nurses have a responsibility to conduct themselves according to the ethical
responsibilities outlined in this document and in practice standards in what they
do and how they interact with persons receiving care and other members of the
2. Nurses engage in compassionate care through their speech and body language
and through their efforts to understand and care about others’ health-care needs.
3. Nurses build trustworthy relationships with persons receiving care as the
foundation of meaningful communication, recognizing that building these
relationships involves a
effort. Such relationships are critical to
understanding people’s needs and concerns.
4. Nurses question, intervene, report and address unsafe, non-compassionate,
unethical or incompetent practice or conditions that interfere with their ability
to provide safe, compassionate, competent and ethical care; and they support
those who do the same (see Appendix B).
5. Nurses are honest
and take all necessary actions to prevent or minimize
. They learn from
and work with others to reduce
the potential for future risks and preventable harms (see Appendix B).
The value and responsibility statements in the
are numbered and lettered for ease of use, not to indicate
Provincial and territorial legislation and nursing practice standards may include further direction regarding requirements
for disclosure and reporting.