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NUR 2058 DQ Why Nursing Standards of Practice
NUR 2058 DQ Why Nursing Standards of Practice
After reviewing the Nursing Standards of Practice, describe three reasons why these are important to nursing practice, safety, and achieving good client outcomes.
Standards of nursing practice developed by the American Nurses’ Association (ANA) provide guidelines for nursing performance. They are the rules or definition of what it means to provide competent care. The registered professional nurse is required by law to carry out care in accordance with what other reasonably prudent nurses would do in the same or similar circumstances. Thus, provision of high quality care consistent with established standards is critical.
As defined by the American Nurses’ Association (ANA), standards of nursing practice consist of three components:
- Professional standards of care define diagnostic, intervention, and evaluation competencies.
- Professional performance standards identify role functions in direct care, consultation, and quality assurance.
- Specialty practice guidelines are protocols of care for specific populations.
The ANA has developed and published standards for clinical nursing practice and specialty practice including public health nursing. A list of the standards of public health nursing are available here.
Copies of the scope and standards documents can be ordered from American Nurses Association by clicking here.
Brent, Nancy. (1997). Nurses and The Law, A Guide to Principles and Applications. W.B. Saunders Company
All standards of practice provide a guide to the knowledge, skills, judgment & attitudes that are needed to practice safely.
They reflect a desired and achievable level of performance against which actual performance can be compared. Their main purpose is to promote, guide and direct professional nursing practice. (Registered Nurses Association of BC (2003) & the College of Nurses of Ontario (2002).
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WHY ARE STANDARDS IMPORTANT?
- Outlines what the profession expects of its members.
- Promotes guides and directs professional nursing practice – important for self-assessment and evaluation of practice by employers, clients and other stakeholders.
- Provides nurses with a framework for developing competencies
- Aids in developing a better understanding & respect for the various & complimentary roles that nurses have. ( Registered Nurses Association of BC (2003) & the College of Nurses of Ontario (2002)
WHAT IS A PROFESSION?
Characteristics of a Profession according to Houle (1980)
- Concept of mission open to change.
- Mastery of theoretical knowledge.
- Capacity to solve problems.
- Use of theoretical knowledge.
- Continued seeking of self-enhancement by its members.
- Formal training.
- Credentialing system to certify competence.
- Creation of subculture.
- Legal reinforcement of professional standards.
- Ethical practice.
- Penalties against incompetent or unethical practice.
- Public acceptance.
- Role distinctions that differentiate professional work from that of other vocations and permit autonomous practice.
- Service to society.
Professionalization is the process by which an occupation achieves professional status. The status of nursing as a profession is important because it reflects the value society places on the work of nurses and the centrality of this work to the good of society. a profession is characterized by prolonged education that takes place in a college or university. Values, beliefs, and ethics relating to the profession are an integral part of the educational preparation. By definition, a professional is autonomous in decision making and is accountable for his or her own actions. Personal identification and commitment to the profession are strong, and individuals are unlikely to change professions. In contrast, an occupation is characterized by training that may occur on the job for varying lengths of time. The training does not incorporate, as a prominent feature, the values, beliefs, and ethics of the occupation. The workers are supervised, and ultimate accountability rests with the employer. Thus commitment is not always strong, and individuals often changes jobs (Chitty, 1993).
Professional nursing practice involves “specialized skills essential to the performance of a unique, professional role” the two main concepts that are in the forefront of professional nursing and its services ideal are accountability and autonomy.
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