The nurse-patient relationship is professional relationship. It is not a friendship, which is a personal relationship. It is a professional relationship and there are always parameters and boundaries in a professional relationship. Take a look at the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements.
The nurse-patient relationship isn't a gateway or springboard for a financial, sexual, personal, or business relationship wtith a patient or a patient's family. It is a professional relationship and there are just some things you don't do or say in a professional service-oriented relationship.
I am hearing more nurses refer to a patient as "my friend." Really? There are things and actions which are perfectly acceptable in a personal relationship which are not acceptable in a professional nurse-patient relationship. Don't get me started on home health care nursing and professional boundaries.
You are a professional nurse and you are practicing in accordance with your State Nurse Practice Act and State Nursing Board regulations, the ANA Code of Ethics, and your healthcare organization's policies and procedures which ALL address establishing and maintaining boundaries with clients and their families in some form or fashion.
There are boundaries issues everywhere in nursing and I am seeing more and more professional boundary and professional sexual misconduct issues, inquiries, and cases in my law practice in every nursing specialty and at different education levels from diploma to doctorate. These cases can get ugly very fast and its like stepping into a pile of dog feces; even after you clean off your shoes, sandals, or flip flops (I can't wait to start wearing my $2.00 Old Navy flip flops again), the smell still lingers.
See the National Council of State Boards of Nursing booklet on boundaries in nursing. https://www.ncsbn.org/Professional_Boundaries_2007_Web.pdf
Another example are my law firm clients. I really like most if not all of my clients and could see myself being "friends" with some of my clients if the circumstances were different. However the circumstances are we have a professional attorney-client relationship and its not a friendship or a personal relationship although we are all nurses. I have to maintain my objectivity which is what you are also striving for in a professional nurse-client relationship.
I do establish and maintain professional boundaries with my law firm clients which is why I don't represent family members. It gets too messy and I don't like anyone calling my mother or grandmother to tattle on me.