Working in different areas

I am an RN in a cardiovascular ICU. When I arrive for my scheduled shift, I find that the unit is overstaffed. My manager assigned me to the neurosurgery ICU because that unit is short-staffed. Am I obligated to go to the other unit?

You have a professional obligation to ensure you have the knowledge and skills to provide competent care and to inform your employer of your inability to accept specific responsibilities that you are not competent to perform.

While you may be able to provide many aspects of nursing care in the neurosurgery ICU, you may require consultation for care that is specific to the unit and client population. You should work with your new team members to clarify your role and ensure resources are available.

Nurses are accountable for their own actions and do not act solely on the directions of others. You are accountable for ensuring your practice meets the College Standards, legislation governing his practice and organizational policies. Nurse should work together with colleagues and management to ensure they are providing safe, effective and ethical care.

Page last reviewed March 26, 2015