Role Transition and Professional Nursing

Topics: Nursing, Registered nurse, Licensed practical nurse Pages: 5 (1562 words) Published: February 14, 2010
Role Transition and Professional Nursing

February 09, 2010

Role Transition and Professional Nursing As the student nurse transitions from the role of a nursing student to the professional level of nursing, the licensed registered nurse shall perform only those nursing activities for which the RN has been prepared through basic education and those additional skills, which are obtained through subsequent nursing education and within the scope of practice of an RN as determined by the board of Nursing. The Licensed Practical Nurse works in hospitals, clinic, as well as skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, correctional facilities and dental offices. A licensed practical nurse may perform specific nursing skills and procedures under the supervision of an RN, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Medical Doctor or Dentist. The licensed practical nurse may delegate to Certified Nurse Assistants or other non-licensed assistants. The LPNs scope of practice includes performance and documentation of basic patient care, vital signs, data collection on all body systems. The LPN carries out wound care orders, preparing patients for diagnostic testing, including specimens. The licensed practical nurse can place the insertion and care of urinary catheters and naso-gastric tubes. The LPN administers medications, but cannot administer IV push medications. IV push medications are under the scope of practice of the RN ( azbn, 2009). A LPN can collect blood specimens. The Licensed practical nurse does not have the same level of education to perform at the same level of the professional nurse. The licensed practical nurse is task oriented as the RN is more challenged in the coordination and flow of the care plan. Concerns from transitioning from the practical nurse transition are registered nurses hold a higher degree of legal responsibility. The registered nurse delegates tasks to the licensed practical nurse and nursing assistants. The RN has a broader and longer education with more knowledge of anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, clinical practice, patient care, and team functioning. RNs are responsible for creating and implementing nursing care plans, and emotional care to the client and at times, often the client’s family (Helium, 2002-2009). The RN provides clear directions and guidelines regarding the delegated task and verifies that the Licensed practical nurse or the unlicensed assistant follows each written policy or procedure when performing the delegated task. The RN observes and communicates the outcome of the delegated tasks and provides feedback. The RN can think to critically think to make clinical decisions based upon evidence based practices incorporated upon the foundation of the nursing process. The license practical nurse does not have the supervisory skills that a RN has. The role of clinical judgment raises concern for the professional nurse, because their professional judgment may be questioned, the professional nurse may be undermined where the nurse is expected to take on the knowledge and skills of other health professionals to carry out quality patient care (Jones,1996). The professional nurse has the accountability of aspects to the patient and as a professional nurse. The professional nurse will assume responsibility for nursing judgment and actions. The professional nurse has to be socially accountable to behave in a manner that is excepting to the public not behaving inappropriately. To be ethical, the professional must be consistent with agreed principles of correct moral conduct, and legally a nurse must be an advocate for the patient. The patient and professional accountability is everyone involved in healthcare. Autonomy is attributed in the nursing profession, including self-determination, self direction, the freedom to interact on an independent level...

References: Finlay, T. (2000). The Scope of professional practice; a literature review to determine the documents impact on nurse’s role. NT Research 5(2):115-125
Jones, M. (1996) Accountability in Practice: A guide to professional responsibility for nurses in general practice. Salisbury: Quay Books
Keenan, J.(1999) A concept analysis of autonomy. Journal of Advanced Nursing 29 (3) : 56-562
 National council of state boards of nursing Inc. (2010). Retrieved from
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