Bill of Rights for Registered Nurses

  1. ANA's 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.

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

    Published in AJN: November 2001, Vol.101. No. 11, Pg. 57
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Nov 19, '01
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  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    Check out the article:

    Issues Update, The ANA Develops Bill of Rights for Registered Nurses. Know your rights in the workplace.

    AJN: November 2001, Vol. 101. No. 11, Pg. 55-57

    for a full discussion of the Nurses Bill of Rights.
  4. by   nightingale

    Do you have a recommendation for a website to gain access to this journal. I used to have one wehn I was in my RN to BSN program. I graduated in June and no longer have access to the college search tools.

    Thank you in advance.

    I recently read another post that stated there is only 8% of the nurse population paticipating in the ANA. I have to admit, I am not a member. Do you find your memebership beneficial?

  5. by   WashYaHands
    Benefits to ANA membership that I find useful are:

    1. I receive a monthly issue of AJN as a benefit.
    2. I receive other publications that keep me informed of National efforts to enhance and promote the nursing profession as well as political efforts of the ANA. This information provides me with knowledge of the issues so that if I write my congressman my stance is clear and accurate.
    3. National membership affords me membership in my state nurses assn., which keeps me informed about political activity within my state. This also gives me the opportunity to become involved at a local level.
    4. I can receive publications at a reduced rate, including standards of practice for just about any nursing specialty.
    5. I can receive discounts for specialty certification exams.
    6. I know that part of my membership dues are used to carry out political activity that will ultimately benefit me in my work setting and practice.
    7. The ANA provides a collective voice for nurses on the National level.

  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    Older issues are available long with many other journals published by Lippencott.
    Only selected articles available for viewing.

    August 2001 AJN link:
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Nov 19, '01
  7. by   nightingale
    Linda and Karen:

    Thank you for the detailed information about the ANA.

    Coincidently (or kizmit), I have thought about joining a nurse association. I have been feeling out in the wilderness with my recent move to Wyoming. I miss the stimulation of school and colleagues. I will check into "doing my part" with the ANA. Should I check into the national group?

    I know in New Mexico the ANA was very active. I have heard nothing regarding activity here in Wyoming. Ofcourse, again, I am not in the swing of things here in Wyoming. I am working Agency in Colorado (a Few hours away).

    I will check out the article in the AJN. Thanks again!

  8. by   woo 2
    first of all, i agree with everything in the ana bill of rights, but what if your employer doesn't? just because the ana adopted it, what does that really mean for us? also i would love to belong to the ana but find that their membership fee is just a little too high, anybody agree?
  9. by   NRSKarenRN
    Since I'm in a non-collective barganing state, my dues are $270.00/yr, which I get deducted monthly from my checking accout ~$25.00/month....doesn't hurt the pocketbook this way.

    When we had collective barganing $450.00 was the yearly cost...still worth it for the legislation representation to help protect my license.

    Addittionally, I can access PA's Nursing Practice Advisor at any time if questions arise. Conventions are a blast! PSNA .org and have most references for questions re policies, workplace advocacy and legislative concerns.
  10. by   -jt
    <Conventions are a blast!>

    We just had our Gala 100th anniversary convention at the NY Hilton Nov 1 - 4. Mrs Coretta Scott King was the keynote speaker at the opening session & a splendid time was had by all every day of convention! And we got 30 CEUs. lol. At one of the business sessions, the collective bargaining nurses voluntarily offered to increase their dues from 1.2 % of yearly base salary of each region to 1.6 % in order to expand collective bargaining services state-wide. Nurses from all over the state - collective bargaining & non-collective bargaining voted more than 2:1 in favor of increasing our own dues. Paying dues is a beneficial means to an end for us members.

    <what if your employer doesn't? just because the ana adopted it, what does that really mean for us?>

    It means everything that the ANA has adopted this Bill of Rights. It doesnt matter if the HOSPITAL adopts the Bill or not. It is now the standard for nursing workplace practice. It will hold up in court just as the ANA's Code of Nurse Ethics recently did for 6 RNs in New Mexico when the hosiptal tried to stop them from testifying on a pts behalf against the MD who harmed her. The court cited the ANAs Code & sided with them & the RNs. The ANA won that case for the RNs largely based on the Code of Ethics. Same thing with the Bill of Rights. We have a right to all that is there. There will be repercussions for the hospitals that choose to trample those rights - whether it accepts that we have those rights or not. The hospital refusing to recognize our rights doesnt negate our rights or cause them to disappear. If your rights are messed with by your employer, sue him. When he loses, he'll suddenly see the value in recognizing & upholding the Nurses Bill of Rights.

    <AJN - Do you have a recommendation for a website to gain access to this journal.>

    Besides the journal's website, you can read parts of the AJN at the ANA' website. Theres a link to the AJN posted articles in the blue column on the left at

    <Do you find your memebership beneficial?>

    Yes. I wouldnt give it up for anything. ANA is the forefront of where everything is happening. Its in DC fighting for the profession & for us. It goes up against the Hospital Associations, the Medical community, the lawmakers, and other on our behalf. Its working to get national laws to protect us, improve our workplace conditions & compensation nationally, among many other things. The more of us that participate, the stronger our voice is in the arena, & the better off we all will be. Its true that about 8% of the RNs in the US are members in this, their national organization. And still just look at all that the ANA has accomplished with just the relative few of us who are there to support the effort. Theres a link on the ANA website titled "What the ANA Has Done for Me Lately". Check it out:

    <I have heard nothing regarding activity here in Wyoming. >

    The Wyoming Nurses Association is part of the ANA & also part of the largest RN labor union in the nation - the United American Nurses - which is the labor arm of the ANA. You can get to Wyoming's Association website from the ANA's website. Go to the pull-down menu & click on Constituent Member Directory
  11. by   nightingale
    Thank you Karen and jt:

    I will contact the ANA today via email.

    I have copied the ANA Bill of Rights, formatted it on Word, and intend to post it in my (many) workplaces. I am working Agency in Colorado. I think I will also sneek into the work place I left, here in Wyoming, because the working conditions were so horrible.

    You have given me much food for thought, thank you. I have needed a kick in the @#% to get excited and begin to feel like I have a place here in Wyoming (in Nursing).


  12. by   betts
    Subj: RN BILL OF RIGHTS -Reply
    Date: 11/20/2001 10:59:27 AM Eastern Standard Time
    Sent from the Internet (Details)

    Hi Betty,
    Sue Whittaker forwarded your question on the Bill of Rights to me. I will answer with where we are on the project.

    When the Board of Directors approved the Bill of Rights for
    Registered Nurses in June, they referred the development of a User's Guide to the Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics. This group met in August, a subcommittee was appointed to review a draft copy of the User's Guide. This was done through the month of Sept and into Oct.

    As is the usual case with a committee review, the resulting document needed editing. Currently, we are in the final review of the edited document, with referral back to the Congress for sign off.

    The Bill of Rights for Registered Nurses has been developed as a poster and the User's Guide will be included in the sales price (to be determined by the marketing department). The projected date for purchase will be Jan 2002.
    Last edit by betts on Nov 20, '01
  13. by   -jt
    At the ANA annual convention this year, the Nurses Bill of Rights was unveiled. We each received a large poster that looks like an old-fashioned rolled parchment - reminiscent of the US Bill of Rights. It was written in the lovely old-style just as the original Bill of Rights was.

    Its a very impressive piece and the poster I received is now hanging in our a main hall of our hospital - right outside the nursing office, in a locked glass case, for employees, administrators, and visitors to read & be educated. I understand it will soon be available for purchase.

    The Nurses Bill of Rights was put together by bedside union nurses, bedside non-union nurses, and non-bedside nurses in other areas of the profession. The UAN, the Workplace Advocacy Program, and the ANA worked together to bring this Bill of Rights into being. This is not just a slogan or a poster. Its a piece that outlines what is professionally acceptable and expected, and it will hold up in a court of law as a guide to the defined standard. It is just as important as our Nurse Practice Acts and Nurses Code of Ethics.
  14. by   -jt
    <Do you find your memebership beneficial?>

    I am privileged to be a part of such an organization as this.
    Not only is the work it does - like establishing this Nurses Bill of Rights; testifying to Congress about the dangers of present working condtions; fighting back the MDs who were trying to create Registered Care Techs to take the place of RNs; creating needlestick legislation & succeeding in making Needlestick Prevention a national law; etc,etc,etc - all going to benefit me, but it is beneficial to ALL nurses - whether they are members or not.

    Thats why when the ANA says it represents the interests of the nations 2.7 million nurses, its telling the truth. It is not working just for the nurses who are members and help support and fund the work. Its fighting for all nurses in this country and fighting for the profession - and its succeeding.

    I consider membership in my professional national organziation to be my obligation to myself (for my own benefit), my professional obligation - as well as a privilege.

    Im proud to make my financial contribution to the effort.