Transition of nursing Essay Example

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Importance of professionalism and accountability for a new registered nurse


Professionalism and accountability are critical components of nursing practice. Professionalism is having the skills or competencies required of a professional. Accountability is one of the standards of professional practice. Accountability has many definitions, but these definitions share the same ideas. It comprises obligation, willingness, intent, ownership, and commitment (Rebeiro, 2012). Accountability is aligned with confidence in a healthcare discipline and public trust. It is important to the nursing profession because it defines and examines the duties and responsibilities of a professional nurse. Professionalism refers to the legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities that require exhibition of an acceptable knowledge base, accountability and working according to legislation affecting healthcare and the nursing profession, and safeguarding personal and group rights. Registered Nurses (RNs) practice in evidence-based and person-centered settings that have curative, preventive, supportive and formative components. Furthermore, they work in professional and therapeutic relationships with patients, their families, communities and colleagues. In order to meet their responsibilities, RNs must continue to develop competently and sustain their capacity for professional practice. Professionalism and accountability are at the heart of nursing practice and they encompass nursing practice at all levels and in all settings.

A RN on entry to practice

At entry level, a RN should show competence in the provision of care, which is stipulated by registration needs, educational preparation, national board standards and codes, legislation, and situation of care (Wheeler, 2013). The RN should be able to practice both independently and interdependently by assuming responsibility and accountability for their won deeds and delegation of duties to other healthcare workers such as enrolled nurses. The RN should understand that delegation of duty puts into consideration the education and training of other health care workers and the context.

Secondly, a RN should be able to provide evidence-based care to all individuals irrespective of age or cultural background. The RN must also understand that his/her roles comprise promotion and maintenance of health, and prevention of diseases for people with mental of physical illnesses, disabilities and rehabilitation needs. Furthermore, the RN must be able to alleviate pain and suffering during end of life (Garber, Gross & Slonim, 2010).

On entry level, a RN should be able to evaluate, plan, implement, and assess nursing care in collaboration with other people and the multidisciplinary team in order to realize objectives and health outcomes. RNs should recognize that gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion, age, economic and social status, and disability affect a person’s beliefs about and response to heal and illness, and should be able to alter nursing care appropriately.

Lastly, on entry to practice, a registered nurse should be able to offer care in different settings that may comprise community, acute, residential and extended care environments, educational institutions, homes, or work settings. They should be able to alter practice according to the models of care delivery (Wheeler, 2013).

Importance of professionalism and accountability to RNs on entry to practice

The nursing and Midwifery Board Of Australia (NMBA) regulates nurses and midwives in the country by using national competency standards developed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC). Professional competency standards of practice are important for a newly registered nursed within a health setting because they are the core competency standards used to evaluate performance to get and maintain registration as a RN in Australia. For a new RN, these standards are valuable because they offer the framework for assessing competence and are used by the national board to evaluate competence as part of the yearly renewal of registration. It is important for new RNs to understand these competency standards because they can understand how they are used to evaluate performance.

Professionalism and accountability are important for registered nurses on entry to practice because they can practice according to regulations affecting the nursing profession and healthcare. Nursing is a regulated profession in Australia, which makes it important for RNs to understand how laws and regulations affect their profession (Hamlin, Richardson-Tench & Davies, 2011). Understanding professional standards ensures that RNs on entry level comply with the necessary legislations. The standards ensure that RNs are able to identify laws that govern nursing practice. It also enables them to identify legal implications of nursing interventions. For example, professional standards enable a RN to comprehend the legal requirements for certain medications and the consequences of failing to adhere to them. Furthermore, professional standards are important for a RN on entry to practice because it enables them to identify unprofessional conduct in relation to privacy and confidentiality laws. Understanding these legal requires requirement on the onset can prevent a RN from facing lawsuits that can affect their career development.

Professionalism and accountability also helps a RN on entry to practice to fulfill the duty of care, which is a core responsibility of nursing. Professional standards that govern the nursing profession enable a RN to carry out interventions according to recognized standards of practice (Fraser et al., 2014). This involves using the best available evidence such as research findings to deliver quality practice. In so doing, the RN can deliver care that satisfies the needs of the patient and meets quality standards. Since RNs offer care in collaboration with other health care practitioners, professional standards enables them to clarify responsibility for aspects of care with other healthcare workers ((Garber et al., 2010). This is vital in areas of delegation of responsibility to other health care workers such as enrolled nurse. Professional standards also help RNs to fulfill the duty of care by performing interventions following comprehensive and accurate evaluations. It enables them to prevent harm, which is a core responsibility of a nurse.

Understanding professional standards on entry to practice enables registered nurses to recognized and respond to unprofessional or unsafe practice. Since professional standards stipulate competency standards and professional responsibilities, RNs are able to determine the appropriate actions to be taken in specific circumstances (Grealish, 2015). RNs take leadership roles in coordinating healthcare and nursing across and within different care settings to facilitate optimal outcomes; therefore, professional standards enables them to identify practice that prevents achievement of optimal care and take the necessary actions that prevent recurrence.

Nursing practice is based on purposefully taking part in effective professional and therapeutic relationships. Professional standards enable RNs on entry to practice to engage in relationships that build mutual trust and respect between them and their clients and with other health care workers. Professional standards stipulate how RNs should establish, sustain and conclude relationships in a manner that differentiates boundaries between personal and professional relationships (Stuart, 2013). Understanding these limits helps nurses to avoid exceeding professional boundaries that can affect their ability to provide care. Additionally, exceeding relationship boundaries between the clients and the nurse can lead to disciplinary measure being taken against the nurse; therefore, professional standards help RNs on entry to practice avoid such occurrences.

Professional standards also enable RNs on entry to practice to communicate in a manner that respects the culture, beliefs, values and rights of every one. The Australian community comprises individuals from different linguistic and cultural beliefs (Grealish, 2015). Professional standards enable RNs to understand this context and recognize the significance of culture on wellbeing and health. By reading the professional standards in this context, RNs are able to understand the influences of colonization on the social, cultural and spiritual lives of Islander Peoples and Aborigines. They will be able to understand the significant health inequalities among different ethnic groups in the country and their impacts on health and wellbeing. Furthermore, understanding these standards of practice will enable RNs to provide support and direct individuals to health resources to optimize healthcare outcomes and lower health inequalities in the Australian society.

Professional standards are also vital for RNs on entry to practice because they enable nurses to maintain the capability to practice. Since RNs in Australia are regulated healthcare professionals, they are accountable and liable for ensuring that they have the capability for practice. To maintain capability for practice, RNs engage in self-management and responding to concerns about other RNs’ ability for practice. Other than being responsible for their professional development, RNs also play a role in the development of others because they provide education and information to others to enable them make decisions in relation to their health (Garber et al., 2010). Professional standards are vital in maintaining the capability for practice because it enables RNs to consider and take action in a timely was to the health of others in relation to the capability to practice. The standards help RNs on entry to practice to accept accountability for actions, decisions, and behaviors associated with their role, and for the actions and decisions of others to whom they have delegated responsibilities. Without the professional standards, it would be difficult to hold RNs and other healthcare professionals accountable for their actions, which in turn affects the quality of care offered to the public. Additionally, the standards enable RNs to identify and support the primary role of nursing practice in influencing better health outcomes because they can offer the information and education needed to promote individuals’ control over their health.

Professionalism is important to RNs on entry to practice it guides their ability to offer safe, appropriate and responsive nursing practice. The standards offer guidelines on how RNs may delegate and provide quality and ethically goal-oriented actions. They stipulate how the actions should be based on systematic and comprehensive evaluations, and the best-available evidence to realize planned outcomes (Chang & Daly, 2015). The standards determine how RNs should provide comprehensive quality practice to support agreed objectives and health results that are responsive to the nursing needs of individuals, groups and communities. The standards also stipulate how to appropriately delegate aspects of practice to other healthcare workers such as enrolled nurses according to their scope of practice. By following the standards, RNs will avoid situations where they can delegate responsibilities that are beyond the scope of the enrolled nurse. The standards also enable RNs to use the necessary processes in identifying and reporting actual and potential risk issues and where practice is substandard.

Professionalism also determines the ability of RNs to create plans for nursing practice. They are responsible for developing plans and communicating nursing practice. According to the professional standards, the plans must be based on appraisal of pertinent and comprehensive evidence by RNs that is documented and disseminated (Parker, Keleher, Francis & Abdulwadud, 2009). RNs on entry to practice lack this knowledge, but the professional standards offers guidelines on how RNs can utilize assessment data and available evidence to create plans. The professional standards outline how RNs can collaboratively create nursing practice plans to reach objectives, contingencies, timeframes and outcomes agreeable to all relevant stakeholders.

Lastly, professional standards are useful to a new RN because they outline how to assess outcomes to inform nursing practice. RNs evaluate practice based on objectives, plans and outcomes and revise the plans accordingly. By understanding the professional standards, RNs on entry to practice are able to assess and monitors progress to reach the expected objectives and health outcomes (Chang & Daly, 2015). Furthermore, the professional standards stipulate how RNs should determine, document and communicate additional objectives, actions and outcomes with the relevant individuals.


The significance of professional standards to RNs on entry to practice cannot be understated. Understanding and implementing RN standards for practice enables RNs to develop their scope of practice. Since RN practice is a professional undertaking, it is important for RNs to engage in continuous thinking and evaluation within the context of maintain constructive relationships and thoughtful development. To succeed in their practice, RNs must continue to develop professionally and uphold their ability for professional practice. Responsibility and accountability are part of RN practice, which means that they are accountable for their actions and decisions. Accountability ensures that nurses are answerable to patients under their care, regulatory authorities and the public. It is important to note that accountability cannot be delegated to another entity. A RN delegating a responsibility to another person is accountable for the decision to delegate. Since professional standards determine how RNs cam delegate responsibilities, it is important for a RN on entry to practice to understand the all the standards. Furthermore, professional standards relate to legal, professional, and ethical responsibilities; therefore, they affect nursing practice and healthcare.


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