RN Tasks – Where’s the List?

I am a relatively new manager and I need a list of all the nursing activities or tasks that RNs can perform. Please tell me where to find the list!

  • Unfortunately, there is no list. Registered nursing practice is very complex and dynamic in nature and is performed in a multitude of care settings. It cannot be reduced to a list of tasks or registered nursing activities.
  • RNs have the foundational knowledge to provide and coordinate care for all levels of complexity; in situations of health and illness; with all people across the lifespan; with all recipients of care: individuals, families, groups, communities and populations; across diverse practice settings; and using evidence-informed practice (1).
  • If the client’s condition begins to change, the RN possesses the knowledge, skill and judgment to recognize and respond immediately when client safety is affected or when the client’s condition is deteriorating (2).
  • RNs coordinate point-of-care health service delivery with clients, the health care team, and other sectors to ensure continuous, safe care (3).
  • RN practice in a specific setting is based on client needs and is supported through employer policies and procedures which describe the RN’s role in a particular activity (4).
  • The Registered Nurse Specialty Practice (RNSP) model applies to RNs who are licensed to practice in Saskatchewan and provides the opportunity for all RNs to safely and competently optimize their scope of practice in the interest of the individual client or client population (5).

If there is no list of nursing activities or tasks for me to refer to, what can I access to help me understand what RNs can and should do in our practice settings?

The CRNS has documents that help managers and others understand the scope of practice, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of RNs. Please refer to the chart below to determine which documents are available and how to use them.

CRNS ResourceHow it can be used
The Registered Nurses Act, 1988·       Provides the legislated scope of practice for Registered Nurses (Section 2k).

·       Is the basis for all standards of practice for RNs.


Registered Nurse Practice Standards (2019)·       Sets the minimum standards to which RNs are expected to practice.

·       Used as a basis for professional development of RNs throughout their career.

·       Is used by RNs as a basis to advocate for safe patient care.

Registered Nurse Entry-Level Competencies (2019)·       Together with RN practice standards provides the foundation of RN practice.

·       Guides development and assessment of nursing education programs.

·       Used as a basis for professional development of RNs throughout their career.

CNA Code of Ethics (2017)·       Provides the foundation of ethical practice for RNs.

·       Sets the ethical standards to which RNs are expected to practice.

·       Can be used for professional development of RNs.

·       Is used by RNs as a basis to advocate for safe patient care.


In my orientation to the manager role, I learned a bit about RN Specialty Practices (RNSP). I was told that RNSPs are necessary in most practice areas. If there isn’t a list of these specialized nursing activities, how can I learn more?

Most work settings require RNs to perform RNSPs that meet the care needs of the client population they care for. RNSPs impact the majority of CRNS members because clients frequently require care that is beyond entry level RN practice. The chart and link below outlines a CRNS resource that may help you expand your knowledge of RNSPs.

CRNS Resource How it can be used
RN Specialty Practices Guideline (2020)·       Explains what RN Specialty Practices are and how they can be implemented.

·       Outlines the standards and competencies required to establish and carry out RNSPs in clinical settings.

·       Provides a framework for development of RN Clinical Protocols that support RN optimization in alignment with what is in the best interest of the client in the practice setting.

Is there any other legislation that authorizes RN practice?

Yes. As the care of complex clients evolve, opportunities arise for the inclusion of additional RN delegated medical activities and services. These activities are limited in number and are clearly identified in the Saskatchewan College of Physicians and Surgeons’ Bylaws and re-stated in the CRNS Nursing Practice Update from 2021 that is focused on Physician to RN Delegation.

If I have questions about the scope of Registered Nurse practice in SK, how can I find out more?

Nursing Nursing Advisors are available to guide and support you in your manager role. Please contact an advisor by phone at 1-800-667-9945 or by email at practiceadvice@crns.ca

Resource Key
1Registered Nurse Entry-level Competencies (2019)Overarching Principles, page 4
2Registered Nurse Entry-level Competencies (2019)Competency 1.8 and 1.9, page 6
3Registered Nurse Entry-level Competencies (2019)Competency 5, page 10
4RN Specialty Practices Guidelines (2020)page 1
5RN Specialty Practices Guidelines (2020)page 1
6CRNS Nursing Practice Update Physician to RN Delegation (2016)Webpage content


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