Discussion: NUR 2058 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.
WHAT ARE NURSING STANDARDS?
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)
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.
Credentialing system to certify competence.
Creation of subculture.
Legal reinforcement of professional standards.
Penalties against incompetent or unethical practice.
Role distinctions that differentiate professional work from that of other vocations and permit autonomous practice.
Service to society.
PROFESSIONALIZATION OF NURSING
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.
Accountability is the state of being responsible and answerable for one’s own behavior. The sphere of a nurse’s accountability is to self, the client, the employing agency, and the profession. The standards of clinical nursing practice by ANA and standards of the various specialty nursing practices document the professional nurse’s scope and limits of accountability. By virtue of these standards, society holds nurses and those under their supervision accountable for their actions.
Autonomy in nursing is the freedom and the authority to act independently. It implies control over one’s practice, and it applies to both decisions and actions.
An accountability based governance system is a predominant feature of professional practice models. Responsibility and authority are established in specified processes rather than in particular individuals who, in turn, determine the placement of accountability. The nurse is central to the organization and is supported by major service components such as standards, quality assurance, continuing education, and peer process. Nursing management has no legitimate role in practice-related decisions; rather, management facilitates, integrates, and co-ordinates nursing operations to support the practitioner.
PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS AND NURSING PROCESS
Professional standards ensure that the highest level of quality nursing care is promoted. Excellent nursing practice is a reflection of sound ethical standards. Client care requires more than just the application of scientific knowledge. A nurse must be able to think critically, solve problems, and find the best solution for client’s needs to assist clients in maintaining, regaining, or improving their health. Critical thinking requires the use of scientifically based and practice-based criteria for making clinical judgments. These criteria may be scientifically based on research findings or practice based on standards developed by clinical experts and quality improvement initiatives.
NURSING PROFESSION AND ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS
Nursing is a helping, independent profession that provides services that contribute to the health of people. Three essential components of professional nursing are care, cure and co-ordination. Caring aspect is rational and requires as nurse to understand the patient’s needs at a level that permits individualization of nursing therapies. To cure is to assist patients in understanding their health problems and to help them to cope. The cure aspect involves the administration of treatments and the use of clinical nursing judgment in determining, on the basis of patient outcomes, whether the plan is effective. Co-ordination of care involves organizing and timing the medical and other professional and technical services to meet the holistic needs of the patient. And often a patient requires many other services simultaneously in order to be well cared for. A professional nurse also supervises, teaches, and directs all of those involved in nursing care. So there are some guidelines are essential to check how the nurses perform professionally and how they exercise the care, cure and co ordination aspects of nursing. As an independent profession, nursing has increasingly set its own standards for practice. This is called standards of nursing care.
Clinical, administrative, and academic experts have developed standards of nursing practice. The most widely accepted one is American Nurses Association (ANA) 2004 within this document there are standards of professional performance and standards of practice.
NURSING AS A PROFESSION
Nursing is not simply a collection of specific skills, and the nurse is not simply a person trained to perform specific tasks. Nursing is a profession. No one factor absolutely differentiates a job or a profession, but difference is important in terms of how nurse practice. When one can say a person acts “professionally”, for example, we imply that the person is conscientious in actions, knowledgeable in the subject, and responsible to self and others.
As explained before a profession as have some characteristics, one among this is the profession has a code of ethics and standards.
STANDARDS OF PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE
The ANA Standards of professional Performance describes a competent level of behavior in the professional role, including activities related to quality of care, performance appraisal , education, collegiality, ethics, collaboration, research, and resource utilization, this document serves as objective guidelines for nurses to be accountable foe their actions, their patients, and their peers . the standards provide a method to assure clients that they are receiving high-quality care, that the nurses know exactly what is necessary to provide nursing care, and that measure are I n place to determine whether the care meets the standards.