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Ask Practice

Ask Practice features questions and answers about a variety of practice-related issues that nurses may face over the course of their careers.

The questions come from actual nurses and the answers are written by the College’s Practice Support Team.  Ask Practice is updated on a regular basis, so come back often to see what new questions have been added to the list. Do you have a practice-related question that isn’t addressed here? Contact the Practice Support Team at practicesupport@cnomail.org.


Advocating for your client

Abandoning clients

Authority to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs)

Communicating a diagnosis

Initiating a packing dressing

Sleeping during shift breaks

Risking fatigue by working long hours

Confidentiality and Privacy

Police access to health information

Mandatory reporting of gunshot wounds

Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs) and confidentiality

Discussing clients with colleagues online  


Obtaining informed consent 

Controlled Acts

Performing laser therapy

Portable bladder ultrasound scanning  



Electronic signatures

Ethical Issues

Objecting to care on moral grounds

Communicating with clients online

End-of-Life Care

Who can certify death

Consent for DNR order

Can an RN or RPN pronounce death when death has occurred?

Independent Practice

Record keeping - documentation

Record keeping - retention


Products and Medication


Administering methadone

Dealing with drug shortage issues

RPNs administering sedation 

Medication samples

Medical marijuana

No directives for controlled substances

Narcotic storage and disposal

Nursing Roles

Psychotherapy and the controlled act component of psychotherapy

RPNs in triage

RPNs as circulating nurses

RPNs and initiation

Working in different areas

Unregulated Care Providers

Working with physician assistants

Teaching a personal support worker to administer injections

Page last reviewed January 19, 2017