Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  8 / 60 Next Page
Information
Show Menu
Previous Page 8 / 60 Next Page
Page Background

Canadian Nurses Association

2

Purpose of the Code

The Canadian Nurses Association (CNA)

Code of Ethics for Registered

Nurses

(herein called the

Code

) is a statement of the ethical values of

nurses and of nurses’ commitments 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

1

and

subsequent responsibilities and endeavours of

nurses

.

2

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.

The

Code

provides guidance for ethical relationships, behaviours and decision-

making and is used in conjunction with professional standards, best practice,

research, laws and regulations that guide practice. It provides guidance for nurses

working through ethical challenges that arise in practice with

persons receiving

care

and with

colleagues

in nursing and other fields of health-care provision.

The

Code

is intended for nurses in all contexts and domains of nursing practice

(clinical practice, education, administration, research and policy; CNA, 2015c) and

at all levels of decision-making. It is not based on a particular philosophy or ethical

theory but arises from different schools of thought, including relational ethics, an

ethic of care, principle-based ethics, feminist ethics, virtue ethics and values. The

Code

is developed by nurses for nurses, and it has a practical orientation supported

by theoretical

diversity

. It is a means for self-evaluation, feedback and peer review

and is a basis for advocacy. The

Code

also serves as an ethical basis from which

nurses can

advocate

for

quality practice environments

that support the delivery

of safe,

compassionate

, competent and ethical care.

The societal context in which nurses work is constantly changing and can be a

significant influence on their practice. The

Code

is revised periodically to ensure

that it is attuned to the needs of nurses by reflecting changes in social values and

conditions that affect the public, nurses and other

health-care providers

, and the

health-care system. Periodic revisions also promote lively dialogue and debate and

create greater awareness of and engagement with ethical issues among nurses in

Canada. The

Code

may interest and be useful to all health-care providers.

1

Words or phrases in bold print are found in the glossary. They are shown in bold only on first appearance.

2

In this document, the terms

nurse

and

registered nurse

include registered nurses and/or nurses who are registered or

licensed in extended roles, such as nurse practitioners.