N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide is a danger to the patient. Nurses have a role in reporting illegal and unethical conduct of coworkers. Nurses have ethical obligations to the patient and to the employer and must maintain an objective stance regarding other healthcare providers, and when confronting substandard care. Commitment to the nursing profession requires each individual nurse to be concerned with personal performance and how nursing is practiced. All nurses have an obligation to report those who demonstrate chemical impairment and to assist impaired colleagues in finding treatment and rehabilitation. Violation of the Controlled Substances Act is an error in the narcotic administration record that goes unreported, or changing an order in any way, and can lead the nurse into a criminal action that can be prosecuted in a court of law. These actions are often called reckless endangerment or criminal negligence. 2.6 Statutory Law A statute is a written rule or formal regulation established by a government legislative authority, such as Congress, the state legislature, or the city council. A violation of a statute is legally punishable. In the United States, statutory law includes constitutional law and enacted law. There are three general sources of law: statutory law (can be constitutional or enacted law), regulatory law (referred to as executive or administrative law), and common law. • Constitutional law is established by the federal government and is based on the US Constitution. • Enacted law includes all bills passed by legislative bodies, whether at the local, state, province, or national level. Enacted laws of the U.S. federal government all carry the designation of USC (United States Code) in their official title. • Regulatory law is referred to as executive or administrative law and includes the rules and regulations established by government agencies to carry out enacted laws. These appear as carefully written rules that apply to everyone. State Statutory Law Licensure Each state has its own set of administrative rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of laws regulating nursing. The form of statutory law that is important to nurses is credentialing or licensure. The power to regulate the licenses of practitioners is retained by the various states. Although each state’s licensure law is slightly different, there are similarities as well. Nurse licensing is done to protect the public by requiring nurse applicants to have a basic minimum competence and to make individual practitioners accountable for their actions. Licensure law defines the legal limits of the practice of nursing.