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Ethics for Registered Nurses

Access the Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses

The CNA Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses (2017) 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.

Highlights of the 2017 edition
This current 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

Table of contents [PDF, 69.5 KB]

Read the Code online (Flip book)

Download the Code [PDF, 880.4 KB]

Bring the Code to life with 10 e-learning modules

Take the modules to learn how to apply the Code in your daily practice. First developed to coincide with the 2008 Code, these modules now contain updated content that reflects the 2017 edition. CNA has added a 10th learning module, “Violence: Ethics in Practice.”

All 10 modules are available for free to CNA members and nursing students on CNA’s Learning Centre, which can be accessed on NurseONE by:

2008 Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses