Principles of nursing practice
Eight principles that apply to all nursing staff and nursing students in any care setting
The principles describe what constitutes safe and effective nursing care, and cover the aspects of behaviour, attitude and approach that underpin good care.
Each of the principles was developed by the Royal College of Nursing in partnership with the Department of Health and the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Patients, the public and health care staff were also involved in developing them.
Learn more about how the principles are put into practice with this series of short films exploring each one.
How you can use the principles
As a nursing professional or nursing student you can use the principles to:
- understand what patients, colleagues, families and carers can expect from nursing
- help you reflect on your practice and develop as a professional
- generate discussions with your colleagues or if you are student with your mentor, tutor or fellow students on the aspects of behaviour, attitude and approach that underpin good nursing care
- identify where the principles are being practised within your organisation, and to identify instances where you think they are not being practised
- see how they relate to a trust’s own set of nursing values.
- evaluate the care they have received by using them as a checklist.