Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights for Registered Nurses

Registered nurses promote and restore health, prevent illness, and protect the people entrusted to their care. They work to alleviate the suffering experienced by individuals, families, groups, and communities. In so doing, nurses provide services that maintain respect for human dignity and embrace the uniqueness of each patient and the nature of his or her health problems, without restriction in regard to social or economic status. To maximize the contributions nurses make to society, it is necessary to protect the dignity and autonomy of nurses in the workplace. To that end, the following rights must be afforded:

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

Disclaimer: The American Nurses Association (ANA) is a national professional association. ANA policies reflect the thinking of the nursing profession on various issues and should be reviewed in conjunction with state association policies and state board of nursing policies and practices. State law, rules, and regulations govern the practice of nursing. The ANA’s “Bill of Rights for Registered Nurses” contains policy statements and does not necessarily reflect rights embodied in state and federal law. ANA policies may be used by the state to interpret or provide guidance on the profession’s position on nursing.

Adopted by the ANA Board of Directors: June 26, 2001