Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Practice Considerations that Enhance Nursing Practice when Working with Adolescents
  1. Utilize a theory-based approach, e.g. youth engagement, resiliency, anticipatory guidance, harm reduction
  2. Be non-judgmental, honest and transparent. Practice active listening and respect.
  3.  Respect consent to treatment and capability parameters.
  4. Respect an adolescent’s need and right to confidential care and interactions.
  5. Take extra time to ensure youth are fully informed, and encourage their participation in all decisions.
  6.  Include strategies that are multifaceted, comprehensive, holistic, multisectoral and multidisciplinary (i.e. incorporating individual, families and communities).
  7. Be flexible, timely, accessible and patient.
  8. Participate in adolescents’ use of technology, and use it as a form of communication and information sharing when working with youth.
  9. Focus on the antecedents of risk behaviours and utilize an informed harm reduction approach.
  10. Be knowledgeable of adolescent brain development, particularly recent research on frontal lobe function, in understanding the motivation and abilities of youth regarding consequences and rewards.
  11. Involve youth in all aspects of program development and evaluation.
  12. Build on adolescents’ strengths. Promote competence and potential.
  13. Establish and nurture environments that youth perceive to be safe for their participation.
  14. Provide continuity of practitioner to establish trust and rapport.