The Nurses Act (2002) defines the practice of nursing as follows:
“The practice of nursing consists in assessing health, determining and carrying out the nursing care and treatment plan, providing nursing and medical care and treatment in order to maintain and restore the health of a person in interaction with his environment and prevent illness, and providing palliative care.”
The framework upon which the profession is conveyed through the program is widely based on this Act, while also taking into consideration the new realities of healthcare. It is also highly influenced by the primary healthcare philosophy favoured by the World Health Organization. Lastly, the program is based on integrating concepts (individual, health, environment, care), beliefs and postulates selected by the OIIQ as the foundations for exercising the profession.
Upon entering the work force, nurses with college-level training work with individuals, their families and loved ones either in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals or private certified facilities. They provide short or long-term care to infants, children, teenagers, adults and seniors.
They participate in each stage of the continuum of care with a view to promoting health and disease prevention, and providing treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. To achieve this, they must evaluate a patient’s state of health, provide clinical surveillance, identify health care needs, determine, adjust and plan for the execution of therapeutic plans, organize work, implement and evaluate interventions and apply measures aimed at ensuring continuity of care.