Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics articulates ethical principles, values and standards to guide all members of the psychiatric nursing profession. The Code defines accepted behaviors and establishes a framework for professional responsibility and accountability. The Code promotes high standards of practice and provides a benchmark for psychiatric nurses to use for self-evaluation. The Code of Ethics identifies the obligations of the profession and the obligations of individual psychiatric nurses to society.

The Core Values that provide the framework for this Code of Ethics are:

  • Professional Accountability
  • Unconditional Respect
  • Wholistic Health
  • Quality Practice Milieu


Registered Psychiatric Nurses:

  1. Differentiate between professional and personal relationships.
  2. Establish therapeutic relationships.
  3. Recognize potential vulnerability of all persons.
  4. Practice within their level of competence.
  5. Use evidence-based practice.
  6. Use continuing competence throughout their professional career.
  7. Maintain a personal level of health and mental health.
  8. Provide competent, safe and ethical care.
  9. Protect the confidentiality of all information obtained as a result of professional relationships.
  10. Demonstrate professional practice that reflects honesty, integrity, reliability, impartiality and diligence.
  11. Demonstrate professional judgment when accepting and delegating responsibilities.
  12. Report incompetent or unethical behaviors of care providers.
  13. Accept responsibility for own practice and minimize harm arising from adverse events.
  14. Refrain from endorsement of products or services.
  15. Promote the psychiatric nursing profession.
  16. Practice according to provincial and federal legislation and Standards of Psychiatric Nursing Practice.
  17. Understand, promote and uphold the ethical values of the profession.


Registered Psychiatric Nurses:

  1. Promote respect, autonomy, rights, diversity and choice of all people.
  2. Demonstrate advocacy.
  3. Respect the diversity and unique beliefs of all people
  4. Know, apply and uphold the elements of informed consent.


Registered Psychiatric Nurses:

  1. Respect the rights, needs and values of each person.
  2. Recognize that health and mental health are an interconnected and dynamic process.
  3. Comprehend that unique lifestyles and expectations influence health and mental health.
  4. Endorse collaborative and wholistic approaches to health and mental health from promotion, prevention, intervention, rehabilitation to recovery.
  5. Promote research and evidence -based psychiatric nursing practice.
  6. Respect and value collaborative and shared-care.


Registered Psychiatric Nurses:

  1. Recognize that community, socio-economic and political system environments influence health and mental health.
  2. Contribute to quality practice settings by modeling positive, healthy and ethical conduct.
  3. Contribute to and maintain safe practice environments.
  4. Advocate for sufficient resources to provide safe and competent psychiatric nursing practice.
  5. Advocate for fair and equitable access to benefits and treatment for all people.