Nurse’s Bill of Rights

We are not robots who just function aimlessly, we are not assistants that superiors can just bully into doing anything. We are not people who can be forced into something we don’t agree to. We are not slaves.

We are nurses. We are health professionals who seek to promote and restore health, prevent illness, and protect the people entrusted to their care. We work to alleviate the suffering experienced by individuals, families, groups and communities. We are nurses. And just like the patients that we cater to, we, too have our rights.

The Nurse’s Bill of Rights was adopted by the American Nurses Association (ANA) Board of Directors on June 26, 2001

According to ANA President Mary Foley, in 2001, “the ANA Bill of Rights for Registered Nurses is a powerful statement of the rights that every nurse must have to provide high quality patient care in a safe environment.”

“We believe that nurses have the right to a safe work environment, to practice in a manner that assures the provision of safe care through adherence to professional standards and ethical practice, and to advocate freely for themselves and their patients,” she adds.

Nurse’s Bill of Rights

  • Nurses have the right to practice in a manner that fulfills their obligations to society and to those who receive nursing care.
  • Nurses have the right to practice in environments that allow them to act in accordance with professional standards and legally authorized scopes of practice.
  • Nurses have the right to a work environment that supports and facilitates ethical practice, in accordance with the Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements.
  • Nurses have the right to freely and openly advocate for themselves and their patients, without fear of retribution.
  • Nurses have the right to fair compensation for their work, consistent with their knowledge, experience and professional responsibilities.
  • Nurses have the right to a work environment that is safe for themselves and for their patients.
  • Nurses have the right to negotiate the conditions of their employment, either as individuals or collectively, in all practice settings.

Though the Nurses’ Bill of Rights is not a legal document, it can serve as a guide that nurses and health care institutions can use to address workplace expectations and concerns. It is also considered most effective when used in combination with the individual state’s nurse practice acts and nursing regulations defining the laws related to nursing practice.


Liane Clores, RN MAN

Currently an Intensive Care Unit nurse, pursuing a degree in Master of Arts in Nursing Major in Nursing Service Administration. Has been a contributor of Student Nurses Quarterly, Vox Populi, The Hillside Echo and the Voice of Nightingale publications. Other experience include: Medical-Surgical, Pediatric, Obstetric, Emergency and Recovery Room Nursing.

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