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When employer policies conflict

My employer recently implemented a policy that does not align with CNO’s practice standards. What are my accountabilities when this happens? 

Your primary accountability is to meet CNO’s standards. 

Employers and nurses have a shared responsibility to create environments supporting quality practice. One way nurses do this is by advocating for policies in their patient’s best interest and safety. This requires careful consideration of:

  • the patient population
  • the environment
  • relevant CNO standards, and
  • best available evidence 

We encourage nurses to speak with key decision-makers within the practice environment to advocate that policies reflect standards of practice. 

To guide your decision-making, the following reflective questions may be helpful:

  • Have I discussed my concerns with the health care team?
  • Have I discussed my concerns with key decision-makers in my organization? (For example, quality and risk management or professional practice leaders)?
  • What evidence is available to inform the policy?
  • What tools are in place to help nurses apply the standards of practice in my organization? 

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Page last reviewed May 15, 2019