June 2019

Code of Conduct: Understanding principle 1

In February 2019, CNO’s Code of Conduct came into effect. The Code is a practice standard that all nurses are accountable to. But unlike other practice standards, the Code is written for the public and explains what they can expect from a nurse when receiving care.

The Code is divided into six principles that reflect the fundamental values at the core of nursing.

Nurses respect the dignity of patients and treat them as individuals

At the core of nursing is the therapeutic nurse-client relationship. This relationship is based on trust, respect, empathy and professional intimacy.

You can build trust with your patients by being honest with them and working in partnership with them. You also build trust by showing respect for their choices.

Treating your patients with respect and dignity includes being considerate of their individuality and privacy. Understand that a patient’ choices can be informed by their culture, beliefs and goals. If you ever feel that your beliefs conflict with a patient’s care plan, you must continue to provide safe and compassionate care until another nurse can take over their care.

Working in partnership with your patient includes listening to your patient and responding to their concerns and preferences. It also means providing your patient with relevant information so they can make decisions about their care.

Understanding the Code

Watch our new webcast to learn how the Code of Conduct applies to situations you may encounter in your everyday nursing practice.

Throughout the coming months, we’ll break down each of the six principles in the Code. If you have questions about the Code or how it applies to your nursing practice, just ask us!

Back to Top