Case Scenarios

The following case scenarios are adapted with permission from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO), Boundaries and Sexual Abuse Case Studies (2018). These case scenarios show the judgement involved in maintaining appropriate boundaries with patients. The cases can be used as a teaching tool for nursing students, nurses and others involved in the profession.

Boundary Crossings and Violations 

Scenario 1 – Personal needs and interests 
Scenario 2 – Oversharing personal information 
Scenario 3 – Accepting gifts 
Scenario 4 – Risk management 
Scenario 5 - Rural practice and scarcity 

Sexual Abuse and Duty to Report

Scenario 6 - Incompetent practice 
Scenario 7 – Legal versus professional and ethical obligations 
Scenario 8 – Sexualized comments 

Sexual Abuse

Scenario 9 – Professionalism and language 
Scenario 10 – Consent and boundary violation 
Scenario 11 – Colleague’s duty to report 
Scenario 12 - Determining if a nurse-patient relationship exists (1)
Scenario 13 - Determining if a nurse-patient relationship exists  (2)




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Page last reviewed March 02, 2020