Describing the roles of nurses has not been simple because of very few variations involved in the profession. Determining whether an action by a nurse is within the domain of nursing practice relies on the position and place of the specific nurse in the facility. If for instance an action is needed that falls under neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU), it will be out of scope for a regular nurse to make a decision regarding the issue, which is reserved for the nurse manager. Responsibilities of a nurse include patient care, working with the medical team to plan and care for a patient and monitoring the progress of the patients. The nurse manager is allowed to assume the roles of a normal nurse because of the experience and expertise but for a normal nurse the reverse is not possible.
In the event that nurses drift into responsibilities that are not allowed to them, there are consequences attached to such acts because such functions have been reserved for their colleagues with a given requirement. The obligation and responsibilities of professional nursing are steered by a given standard of practice performed by a specific mandated nurse like forensic or occupational nurses. Nurses should always function to their limit designated areas only.
There is a constant evolution on the scope and boundaries of nursing practice as a result of technological advances and changes in the health system. Historically, nurses were barred from conducting some medical checks like interpreting thermometers results and measuring blood pressure among others. These roles in modern times are considered to follow under the scope of nurses. These changes however must be within the limits of the Nursing Practice Act in the given state, which is recommended by professional organizations. The recommendations for a nurse to perform a particular role are in line with education preparation and qualification, facilities competence, environment and patience predilection.
Algorithms set by the specific state laws determine the role of a nursing in this context. The scope of practice for nurses is extensive and evolving depending on many factors such as research, technology and organizational structure. For a nurse to perform a given action or activity, it must be in line with authorized nursing body requirement. The individual nurse should also prove the ability to carry it out under accepted terms and conditions. The big question here is what makes a nurse qualify to perform a given task? The underlying factor is expounding skills and knowledge through education, which defines the role and actions a nurse undertakes.
There are six factors to be considered when determining whether or not identified nurses actions are within the domain of nursing practice according to the Texas Board of Nursing (Texas Board of Nursing, 2013).These are The nurse practice act, job description, organizational policies/protocols, data from nursing literature/nursing research, accepted standard of care and individual Responsibility. These factors assist nurses in expounding what a given action is all about. The nurse should also get additional information needed like the facility guidelines and measures. Using the six steps model, nurses are able to carry out a self assessment in relation to ones skills and abilities and recognized capability to execute a given action. In instances where a nurse doubts his or her abilities, this must be addressed to a more experienced colleague. The model ensures that once a nurse agrees to perform a given task, he is accountable for executing and finishing it in a proficient conduct.
Cherry, B & Jacob, S. (2013). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends & management 6th Ed. St, Loius, MO: Mosby.
Texas Board of Nursing. (2013). “Laws & Rules – Nursing Practice Act.” Web. 24 October 2015. Retrieved from: https://www.bon.texas.gov/laws_and_rules_nursing_practice_act.asp