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Standards of Practice Resources

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As a nurse, a large part of understanding the 2017 Standards of Practice for Registered Nurses is by being able to interpret and apply them in your practice. Although the indicators help with this, they are not an all-inclusive list and may be further interpreted based on the contexts of practice and the practice expectations of nurses at varying levels of competence.

To support you in better understanding the standards in practice, we have created a number of case studies and Ask a Practice Consultant resources that demonstrate how the standards can be applied, interpreted and considered in practice. That way, when you encounter a professional practice situation or issue in the future, you will have the knowledge and skills to make an informed decision – and one that is based in your standards of practice.


Case Study: Accountability & Responsibility

Edith is an RN who has been working in the Emergency Department for 10 years and has recently decided she would like to move her practice. When a position opens and she’s the successful candidate, her preceptor expects her to take a full assignment. Reflecting on her standards of practice, what does Edith need to consider before accepting this work?

Ask a Practice Consultant: Accountability & Responsibility

Q: I am a registered nurse who is working with a group of new breastfeeding moms and I have found some online videos which I think will be effective in supporting them to be successful. What do I need to consider if I want to use these videos in my practice?

Case Study: Knowledge-Based Practice

Arjun is a new RN graduate and Cheryl is a veteran LPN with 20 years of experience. On Friday morning, Arjun and Cheryl are working collaboratively to provide care to 10 diverse clients. What steps should Arjun and Cheryl take to ensure they are providing safe and effective care using a team-based approach?

Ask a Practice Consultant: Knowledge-Based Practice

Q: I am an RN working in obstetrics. Over the last several years, many of our young families have been leaving NS to seek work. As a result, birth rates have decreased. My manager had a staff meeting this week and told us that because of the demographic changes, we would now be caring for urology clients in unoccupied beds. How can I meet my standards of practice in this situation?

Case Study: Client-Centred Relationships

Annette works in a rehabilitation centre for clients with spinal cord injuries. She enjoys her work and feels like she makes a difference in the lives of the people she works with. Steve is a 48 year old client who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. Steve’s wife Leanne has been a great source of support and has rarely left his side since the accident. Annette has become very friendly with Leanne; they have children the same age, enjoy similar activities and have a lot in common. A few weeks after Steve is discharged home, Leanne sends Annette a Facebook message asking to get together with her and Steve for coffee. What Should Annette Do?

Ask a Practice Consultant: Client-Centred Relationships

Q. I work in a long term care facility and a nurse I work with has been acting unprofessional in her interactions with clients. She is sometimes demeaning, calling them “sweetie”, “dear”, or “baby”. She also fails to involve them in decisions about their care. Last night, I walked in a room as this RN and another staff member were getting a client ready for bed. The door was wide open and the client was naked and exposed. What should I do?

Case Study: What to Consider when Making a Client Assignment

Richard is a registered nurse (RN) who works on a medical surgical unit in an acute care tertiary hospital. The staff mix on the unit is comprised of both RNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs). Today, he is working the day shift in the charge nurse role and one of his accountabilities is to develop the client care assignment for the unit.

Ask a Practice Consultant: What is My Accountability as a Preceptor or Mentor?

Q. I have been asked by my manager to be a preceptor for a newly graduated registered nurse (RN). What is my professional accountability?

Case Study: Keeping Clients Safe – Your Duty to Report

Erin and Judy are registered nurses (RN) who work in a labor and delivery unit in an acute care tertiary hospital. Erin
and Judy work opposite shifts.

Ask a Practice Consultant: It’s Part of the Job - Understanding the Laws as a Self-Employed Nurse

Q. I am interested in becoming self-employed as a foot care nurse. What is my obligation to understand and follow existing provincial and federal laws related to my practice?