Nursing Seminar - Professional Designations

Professional Designations

Nurses have professional status similar to physicians

definition of "practice of nursing" (s. 3 Nursing Act, 1991)

3. The practice of nursing is the promotion of health and the assessment of, the provision of care for and the treatment of health conditions by supportive, preventive, therapeutic, palliative and rehabilitative means in order to attain or maintain optimal function.

Professional -- traditionally means an exclusive right to practise a particular profession which is protected by law.

Professional designation provides protection to public from those not qualified to practice profession:

restriction on who may perform "controlled acts" (sub. 27(1), Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991). Click here for definition of "controlled acts"

a health care professional cannot perform a controlled act unless they are expressly permitted in the regulations (s. 5(1) RHPA) or they are instructed to do so by someone with the property authority to delegate the act

it is an act of professional misconduct for a health care professional to violate s. 5(1) of the RHPA, and perform a controlled act without proper authorisation

entry into profession restricted (ss. 5 & 6, O. Reg. 275/94, a regulation to the Nursing Act, 1991).

Nurses have right to self-regulate their profession: no person may use title "nurse" unless a member of the College of Nurses of Ontario (s. 11(1), Nursing Act, 1991);

11. (1) No person other than a member shall use the title "nurse", "registered nurse" or "registered practical nurse", a variation or abbreviation or an equivalent in another language.

the "harm clause" restricts anyone other than a member acting within the scope of practice from advising someone with respect to health if it is possible that serious harm may result (s. 30(1), RHPA)

30. (1) No person, other than a member treating or advising within the scope of practice of his or her profession, shall treat or advise a person with respect to his or her health in circumstances in which it is reasonably foreseeable that serious physical harm may result from the treatment or advice or from an omission from them.

it is an offence to do an unauthorized controlled act or violate the harm clause. Other offences are set out in the RHPA, carrying hefty fines

list of instances of professional misconduct (O. Reg. 799/93, a regulation to the Nursing Act, 1991)

mandatory reporting system set out in the Health Professions Procedural Code, a regulation to the RHPA (sections 85.1 to 85.5 of the Code)