Code of Ethics
for Registered Nurses
Ethical Considerations in Relationships with Nursing Students
Nurses in all roles share the responsibility of supporting nursing students in providing
safe, competent, compassionate and ethical care. Several statements in the
include specific references to student nurses and their relationships with others in
providing nursing care:
Nurses treat each other, colleagues, students and other health-care providers in
a respectful manner, recognizing the power differentials among formal leaders,
colleagues and students. They work with others to honour dignity and resolve
differences in a constructive way. (D13)
Nurses share their knowledge and provide feedback, mentorship and guidance
for the professional development of nursing students, novice nurses, other
nurses and other health-care providers. (G9)
On the basis of these statements in the
, the following guidelines are suggested:
• All teacher-nursing student interactions are to be in keeping with ethical
• All nurses and nursing students treat each other with respect and honesty.
• All nurses endeavour to provide nursing students with appropriate
guidance for the development of nursing competence.
• The primary responsibility for the assignment and care of the person
remains that of the primary nurse to whom the person has been assigned.
• Persons receiving care are informed of the nursing student’s status as
a learner. Ideally, the preceptor would advise persons in care about the
nursing student’s status and seek permission for that student to provide
care. When the preceptor is not able to speak to all of the nursing student’s
assigned persons, the student informs the person and requests permission
to provide care. The person’s right to refuse care or assistance provided by
a nursing student is to be treated with respect.
• Nursing faculty, preceptors and nursing students “place the safety and
well-being of the [persons in care] above all other objectives, including
fulfilling educational obligations” (CNO, 2017c, p. 3).