The Accountable Nurse Practitioner

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The Accountable Nurse Practitioner

By | August 2013
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In this essay I intend to examine the issues surrounding nurses' accountability in relation to the scenario discussed, and to Adult nursing. From the group sessions and further reading I have broaden my understanding of what being an accountable practitioner involves. Nurses are highly responsible for their own actions and care they provide. Consequently they are professionally accountable to the Nursing and Midwifery Council, (NMC) as well as their employer, public, patient, families and to themselves. Nurses have to justify why specific care was given in a particular way, (Royal College of Nursing, 2008). And they are required to use their professional knowledge, judgement and skills to make decisions continually throughout their practice, to allow them to exercise best practice (NMC, 2008). Professional, ethical and legal issues are all incorporated into being an accountable practitioner and nurses must take these issues into account throughout their practice. However before exploring accountability further an understanding of the term must be addressed. Tingle, 1995 states it is a contested topic as the concept of accountability is indefinable and arguable. On the other hand Bergman, 1981, defines it as being able to be ‘counted on', however states it is a complex notion as there are varying ways a practitioner can be held accountable dependant on who they are accountable to at the time of the incident. In terms of health care McSherry and Pearce, 2002 explain that accountability relates to continual changing practice and the practitioner has a responsibility to ensure their practice is effective with an evidence base.

During nurse training students accept responsibility for their actions whilst on practice placement however it is the delegated professional who is held accountable for those interventions provided. This difference occurs because to be held accountable you need to have the extensive knowledge base of why interventions are carried out and...
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