The national competency standards for registered nurses plays a critical role in the health care sector. First adopted in 1992 by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council, nurses abide by the National Competency Standards as framework to assess their personal performance and to review areas that need work. Within the national competency standards there are four subsections that initialize the framework for nurses that ensure adequate care; Professional practice, critical thinking and analysis, provision and coordination of care, and collaborative and therapeutic practice. These subcategories of the National Competency Standards are also combined with the structure for the codes of ethics nurses use to delegate and deliberate their performance. This analysis of competency standards as well as the demonstrating the purpose and function of the national competency standards, defining the relationship between the national competency standards and the code of ethics and the significances and future evolvement of these standards will be examined and explored throughout this essay. The national competency standards for registered nurses is necessary component of nursing to ensure the standards of registered nursing are advocated for appropriately. These standards are critically important to the flow of nursing and distinguish the purpose and function of patient advocacy and care. The purpose and function of the national competency standards for registered nurses is to assess and review on the performance of a nurse. These standards ensure all nurses abide by these core standards for individual and group protection, thus ensuring registered nurses are competent and perform to the standards necessary to ensure patient according to Canadian Nurses Association, “It gives guidance for decision-making concerning ethical matters, serves as a means for self-evaluation and self-reflection regarding ethical nursing practice and provides a basis for feedback and peer review” (Canadian Nurses' Association, 2002). These standards are not only used to address nurses, their professional manner and behavior, but also address consumers to ensure the understanding of the public of what they need to expect from nurses as revised by Nursing and midwifery board “The standards provide the framework for assessing competence but also serve to communicate to consumers the standards they can expect from registered nurses, midwives and nurse practitioners” (Australian Nursing Journal, 2006). The function of these standards is to not only address nurses and benefit the consumers but are also used to benefit employers and universities. Employers of nurses use these competency standards as a criteria to decipher new nurse’s potential to their working environment. Universities correspondingly use the National Competency Standards to assist with the development of nursing curriculum and to evaluate the performance of graduates and current students as argued by Ellis Hospital, “Ensuring a safe level of nursing practice through competency testing and validation has been a critical function of a nursing educational department” (Robinson & Barberis-Ryan, 1995)
National Competency Standards and Code of Ethics for Nurses in Australia work within each other to provide guidelines and framework to nurses. The eight codes of ethics for nurses are in place to ensure the fundamental ethical standards and values are up held at all times while practicing medicine. The purpose of these Codes of Ethics is to “identify fundamental ethical standards and values to which nursing profession is committed, and that are incorporated in endorsed professional nursing guidelines and standards of conduct, provide nurses with a reference point from which to reflect on conduct of themselves and others, guide ethical decision-making and practice and to indicate to the community the human rights standards and ethical values it can expect nurses to uphold” (Nursing and Midwifery Board...
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