The authors examine the literature on accountability in nursing and analyze the following questions: What is meant by accountability in nursing? To whom are nurses accountable? For what should nurses be held accountable? Finally, the implications of accountability for the nursing profession are explored. In order for nursing to grow and develop as a profession based on sound theoretical foundations, nurses need to examine what it means to be truly accountable. The authors point out that accountability is a complex issue that requires nurses to examine their practice relative to the needs of healthcare consumers, their relationships with other healthcare professionals, and the increasingly critical role of nursing in the healthcare system.