Opening Remarks

After much consultation with the respective nursing specialty associations, CNA decided to retire the Gastroenterology certification exam effective as it was considered no longer sustainable for CNA.

As a result, renewals are now completed by CL hours only!


Patient refers to patient and/or family as defined by the patient.
Environment recognizes that GI nurses practise in a wide variety of environments including hospitals, rehabilitation, continuing care, ambulatory clinic, and the community.


According to the CNA committee, four goals for a gastroenterology nurse are:

  1. To provide care and encourage patients to function at their optimal level of wellness and autonomy throughout the continuum of care;
  2. To identify alterations in health as a result of gastrointestinal disease processes and complications;
  3. To assist patients in managing gastrointestinal disease processes and in adapting to lifestyle changes that may occur; and
  4. To facilitate health promotion in collaboration with patients by assessing and providing education pertaining to gastrointestinal disorder risk factors. 1


They have also clearly defined the role of the Gastroenterology nurse:

  • Uses a holistic approach to assess, plan, implement and evaluate patient care;
  • Designs a plan of care to accommodate the physical, psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual needs of the patient;
  • Provides a caring, therapeutic environment for the patient in an effort to encourage engagement in care planning;
  • Advocates for the patient to enhance the continuity of care;
  • Collaborates with the health-care team to provide coordinated, comprehensive care;
  • Acts as a role model and resource;
  • Participates in continuous quality improvement;
  • Acknowledges the impact of chronic and complex disease processes on the nurse and recognizes the need for self-care;
  • Practises within professional, legal and ethical standards and engages in a process of self-regulation based on these standards;
  • Assumes responsibility for professional development;
  • Demonstrates competence in theory-based nursing care and acknowledges a responsibility and accountability for professional practise; and
  • Strives to provide evidence-based nursing care and acknowledges a responsibility to support research within the specialty area. 2

Contextual Variables (Specifying the Nursing Context)

  • Patient Culture: will involve questions about how aware you are of the culture your patient comes from, and your sensitivity and respect for their values, beliefs and practises.
  • Patient Health Situation: each patient needs to be looked at in a holistic manner, and the questions will reflect patients in a wide variety of situations.
  • Health care Environment: since GI nurses practise in a wide variety of settings, this will be specified only if it is needed to clarify the question, or give those writing further guidance as they answer the question.