Module 1: Professional Accountability and Prescribing

Module 1 – Introduction

The Code of Ethics (CNA, 2008) states, “nurses are accountable for their actions and answerable for their practice” (p. 1). This lesson reminds us of this responsibility as applied to the administration and prescription of controlled drugs and substances (CDS). Given the potential for misuse and resulting harm, as a nurse, you must practice in keeping with professional standards, laws, and regulations supporting CDS use. Nurses are accountable for knowing their scope of practice and recognizing the limits of their competence in all situations where CDS are used in order to provide the best care possible to all they serve.

This lesson examines the use of clinical practice guidelines applicable to CDS prescribing and discusses ethical principles that guide nurses to “do no harm.” Tools to support safe prescribing and management are included.

Canadian Nurses Association. (2008). Ethical Practice: The Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses [position statement].