Nursing Practice Statements

ONA’s Nursing Practice Statements are standards of practice developed by ONA’s Council on Practice to establish norms relative to the average registered nurse.  All levels of expertise, from novice to nurse expert, should be able to meet these expectations for nursing practice.

Standards of practice that are not included in state law are, nevertheless, important guidelines for the nurse in determining the minimum expectations for the practice of professional nursing. Standards assume a “quasi” legal status because they are used by expert nurse witnesses to determine the minimally expected behaviors of the “average nurse.”  Testimony regarding standards of practice may be presented during malpractice cases or disciplinary hearings before a licensing board.

Standards of safe nursing practice may also be included in state law and rule.  These standards apply to all areas of practice, whether the nurse is working in home health or an intensive care unit. Generally, nursing standards found in state law and rule address the ethical and legal behaviors expected of the licensed nurse. Nurses who breach those standards outlined in law or rule may face criminal prosecution and/or discipline from the regulatory board.

ONA develops standards on a variety of topics and specialties – the current list is below.

We are currently in the process of updating all of our practice statements. They will be posted below as they become available.

Scope of Practice of the Registered Nurse in Light Based (Laser) Therapies

Download the full practice statement here. In accordance with this Code, the intent of this statement is to provide guidelines related to the registered nurse participating in the provision of light based therapies. The role of the registered nurse changes with advancing technology and newly identified needs. The registered nurse’s… Read more

Position on the Administration of Medications by Routes (or Purposes) Not Approved by the FDA

Download the full position statement here. The American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses  states that the nurse has authority, accountability, and responsibility for nursing practice; makes decisions; and takes action consistent with the obligation to promote health and to provide optimal care (Provision 4). Occasionally nurses are asked to… Read more

Role Guidelines for the Nurse Employed by an Ambulatory Care Practice

Download the Full Practice Statement Here Ambulatory care settings employ about 25% of registered nurses in the United States. Of these 25%, 33% have a Masters degree or higher (ANA). Most licensed nurses employed by an ambulatory care practice are primarily clinic-based. Some, however, may work totally or periodically in… Read more

The Role of the Registered Nurse as Charge Nurse

Download the Full Statement Here In accordance with the Code of Ethics for Nurses, the intent of this statement is to provide guidelines for registered nurses assuming the role of charge nurse. ONA recognizes that the role of the charge nurse may vary with the area of practice and facility… Read more