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Ask Practice

Ask Practice features questions and answers about a variety of practice-related issues that nurses may face over the course of their careers.

The questions come from nurses and the answers are written by the College’s Practice Support Team. Ask Practice is updated on a regular basis, so come back often to see what new questions have been added to the list. Do you have a practice-related question that isn’t addressed here? Contact the Practice Support Team at practicesupport@cnomail.org.


Accountabilities during a strike

Care Transitions: Transfer of Accountability

Code Silver

Communicating test results 

Continuing Competence 

Delegating the communication of a diagnosis 

Immunization reporting requirements

Initiating a packing dressing

Nurses use of Cannabis

Performing frequent client assessments

Sleeping during shift breaks

Risking fatigue by working long hours

Understanding your scope of practice

What information is required on name tags?

Witnessing abuse

Authorizing Mechanisms

Administering influenza vaccine through a directive

Authority to initiate intravenous lines

Delegation or directive?

Directives and Prescriptions

Do directives expire?

Orders via video conference call

Signing for narcotic wastage

Signing prescriptions with “as per…”

Confidentiality and Privacy

Accessing client’s health records 

Police access to health information

Mandatory reporting of gunshot wounds

Occupational Health Nurses (OHNs) and confidentiality

Discussing clients with colleagues online

Withholding information/Lockbox provision 


Obtaining informed consent 

Controlled Acts

Performing laser therapy

Portable bladder ultrasound scanning  


Applying ultrasound in nursing assessments

Decisions About Procedures

Accountabilities when using ultrasound

Authority to use automated external defibrillators (AEDs)

Defining Procedures

Practice settings where health services are routinely performed

Declaration of Practice

Am I practising nursing in my new role?

Caring for a family member

Medical leave


Co-signing a documentation entry

Electronic signatures

Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) Forms

Title use when working in different roles

Ethical Issues

Accepting a friend request on Facebook

Accepting gifts from clients

Caring for a friend

Communicating with clients online

Culturally Sensitive Care

Disagreeing with the Care Plan

Protecting Patients Act, 2017 (Bill 87)

Providing care to a sexual partner

Professional versus social relationships

When employer policies conflict 

When patients attempt sexual touching 

End-of-Life Care

Who can certify death

Consent for DNR order

Can an RN or RPN pronounce death when death has occurred? 

NP Students and MAID Assessments

Independent Practice

Record keeping - documentation

Record keeping - retention


Products and Medication


Administering Botox

What patients should consider before getting Botox by a nurse

Administering methadone

Administering naloxone in emergencies

Can I distribute naloxone?

Dealing with drug shortage issues

Dispensing opioids and labels

RPNs administering sedation 

Medication samples

No directives for controlled substances

Narcotic storage and disposal

Recommending OTC medications

Sliding scale insulin

Nursing Roles

Complementary Therapies

Psychotherapy and the controlled act component of psychotherapy

RPNs in triage

RPNs as circulating nurses

RPNs and initiation

Supporting Learners

Can I register as a psychiatric nurse in Ontario?

Unregulated Care Providers

Can a UCP or PSW call themselves a nurse?

Delegating to a Personal Support Worker

Documenting for Personal Support Workers

Working with physician assistants

Teaching a personal support worker to administer injections

Teaching UCP to administer Naloxone

Teaching UCP to give oral medication

Page last reviewed January 15, 2021