The primary dictum for registered nurses, as health care professionals, is First, do no harm. In the increasingly complex environment in which health care is delivered today, registered nurses are the premier advocates for:
- The safety and quality of patient care
- The health and safety of registered nurses and other health care professionals and health care workers
- Health care practices which do no harm to the public health environment outside the settings in which health care is delivered.
A recent nursing standard addition supports the nurse’s concern with environmental health. According to Standard 16 of the Standards of Professional Nursing Practice found in Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, 2nd Edition, “The registered nurse practices in an environmentally safe and healthy manner.”