Nursing professional responsibility includes professional, legal, and ethical responsibilities and cultural safety. Nurses have a professional responsibility to demonstrate knowledge and judgment and be accountable for their actions and decisions. Nurses must also be aware of how their actions and decisions reflect on their reputation, their employer’s/organization’s reputation and the nursing profession in general.
NPs accepting clients onto their panels are responsible to ensure clients have access to a primary care provider by:
NPs decide to accept or decline new clients in good faith and not on personal judgments about the client or the client’s lifestyle. Under the
BC Human Rights Code it may be considered discrimination to refuse clients for reasons of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age.
NPs consistently apply and document their client selection process. If NPs choose to limit their practice based on legitimate reasons (e.g., at practice capacity, competence, work-life balance) these limitations should be clearly and publicly available (e.g., by a sign in the office, on a practice’s website), and communicated to persons seeking care.
If NPs have introductory meetings to get to know new clients and learn of their health concerns and histories, the decisions to accept or decline clients should be made on the basis of the nature and scope of their practice and composition of their panel, not on the simplicity or complexity of the clients.
NPs convey decisions to decline someone as a client honestly and respectfully, and offer assistance to find an alternative health care provider as appropriate.
As a general rule, clients have a right to know who is caring for them. One way of demonstrating accountability is sharing your name and title with your clients.
All nurses have the right to be safe. Health care agencies need to balance clients' interests with staff safety. Agencies should have policies on staff identification, documentation and releasing employee names.