Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Purpose & Scope

  • This best practice guideline focuses on assisting nurses (Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses) working in diverse practice settings in the assessment and/or screening of stroke survivors.
  • The scope of this document addresses the first phase of the nursing process, assessment, and does not incorporate recommendations related to stroke management interventions.
  • This guideline focuses on adults (over age 18) who have experienced a stroke.
  • For the purpose of this guideline, types of stroke include transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.
  • It is intended for all nurses (who are not experts in stroke care), who work with stroke survivors in a variety of practice settings across the continuum of care. However, it is not meant to exclude those who have expertise in this area. It is expected that individual nurses will perform only those aspects of stroke assessment/screening for which they have appropriate education and experience and that they will seek consultation in instances where the client’s care needs surpass the nurse’s ability to act independently.
  • It is acknowledged by the development panel that a comprehensive stroke assessment includes an interdisciplinary approach, and nurses play a role in conducting screening and assessment, as well as identifying a need for referral to other healthcare professionals. The focus of this guideline includes those assessments that are within the scope of independent nursing practice, building on a baseline client a history and assessment.
Chronic Disease
Stroke Assessment Across the Continuum of Care
Background Information