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Nurse Practitioners: Decision-Making and Standards Essay

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Updated: Dec 15th, 2020

Nurse practitioners (NPs) possess numerous ideas, competencies, and skills that can guide them to offer high-quality care in their respective fields. They should also identify emerging issues in this profession in order to meet their patients’ needs. The discussion below examines how they can use their leadership philosophies to implement change, overcome challenges to ethical decision-making, and focus on the existing standards of practice.

Implications of Change on Nurse Leadership

Nursing leadership is a field that theorists, scholars, and professionals take seriously since it influences the quality of health services available to patients. Individuals and practitioners who possess adequate managerial competencies will impart desirable skills, behaviors, and values to their followers. Such professionals can identify various theories and models and apply in their respective fields.

Whenever planning to deliver exemplary medical services, there is a need for those in leadership positions to implement change successfully. This means that the process should become part of their managerial philosophies. The use of appropriate change frameworks can result in high-quality medical services (Kaiser, 2017). Those who ignore this idea will be unable to achieve their leadership aims.

Nurse leaders (NLs) have a responsibility to mentor, guide, and empower others in order to deliver positive results. Unfortunately, some care delivery models require better cultural practices, behaviors, health technologies, and values. These attributes tend to change with emerging ideas and evidence. It would, therefore, be appropriate for NLs to introduce such practices or initiatives using powerful change models.

They should go further to apply their competencies in an attempt to minimize chances of resistance. Xu (2017) indicates that the concept of change is a powerful tool that leaders in nursing can consider to improve existing processes and empower their followers to deliver exemplary medical services. This understanding should encourage those in managerial positions to engage in lifelong learning and acquire superior concepts for implementing and sustaining organizational change. Such a practice will make their respective institutions, units, or departments successful.

MSN Graduate Nurse and Leadership

The graduate (MSN) nurse is equipped with competencies and skills that resonate with the duties of the profession. One of the key areas that these practitioners should consider is that of leadership. From a managerial perspective, these professionals complete various tasks and duties that are aimed at maximizing the health outcomes of the targeted patients (Kaiser, 2017). Firstly, they design, evaluate, and monitor the delivery of health services to different families or groups.

Secondly, they use their philosophies to guide and mentor their followers and teammates. Licensed professionals can operate and provide health services independently (Kaiser, 2017). Thirdly, they will use emerging evidence to implement superior care delivery models and procedures in their respective settings. They will also introduce new ideas, initiatives, and practices using effective change models.

These roles are important in every healthcare setting since the targeted practitioners will solve emerging problems and empower their colleagues to deliver exemplary services. Consequently, more patients will record positive health results. They will use their leadership positions to acquire and leverage resources. They will go further to examine emerging ideas in nursing and introduce them in their respective departments or units.

Such NPs will empower, mentor, and encourage all team members to act intelligently and focus on the existing code of conduct (Xu, 2017). Such an initiative will streamline operations, improve the ethical scores of different caregivers, and eventually maximize the experiences of every targeted patient. All MSN graduate nurses should, therefore, embrace the concept of leadership in order to advocate for communities, underserved populations, and patients.

Challenges to Ethical Decision-Making

Ethical decision-making is a critical issue in the field of nursing. Health practitioners and clinicians must present opinions and ideas that will maximize the health outcomes of the targeted patients. Those who make ethical decisions successfully will be in a position to deliver exemplary services. However, NPs encounter different challenges whenever engaging in ethical decision-making processes (Nora, Deodato, Vieira, & Zaboli, 2016).

The first obstacle is that they lack adequate support systems and resources. This barrier affects the speed at which clinicians make decisions. Secondly, nurses are required to provide medical services to individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds. Decisions aimed at the needs of such people might result in ethical dilemmas (Nora et al., 2016). Thirdly, professionals will have to seek informed consent from their patients before providing certain health services. The targeted people might be opposed to such medical procedures.

Another potential challenge to ethical decision-making arises from the fact that some patients are hospitalized for a short time. This issue might affect most of the ideas different caregivers propose. Additionally, all patients tend to have their unique expectations or choices. Such anticipations might be against the existing code of conduct in a given unit. This means that all nurses providing medical support will be unable to make the most appropriate decisions (Nora et al., 2016). Many countries and societies have also allowed their citizens to embrace euthanasia, abortion, and physician-assisted suicide.

Consequently, practitioners providing care to different patients will find it hard to address such issues. These obstacles explain why stakeholders should present adequate resources and support in order to streamline decision-making processes in nursing.

Definition of “Standards” and Classifications

The term “standards” refers to outlined rules, procedures, or principles aimed at delivering a specific result. For instance, the concept is applied in the field of nursing to denote various attributes aimed at providing competent patient care.

Such principles are critical in every procedure since they can transform the experiences of a given patient. Nurses focusing on these rules will find it easier to implement or develop evidence-based models for delivering high-quality services and remaining professional in their respective fields (Halcomb, Stephens, Bryce, Foley, & Ashley, 2017). The key terms associated with nursing standards include person-centeredness, delegation, supervision, evaluation, accountability, professionalism, integrity, code of ethics, and evidence-based practice. Practitioners who focus on them will achieve their aims and improve their patients’ health outcomes.

There are various classifications for standards of nursing. Some of the leading ones include assessment, diagnosis, planning, outcome identification, implementation, ethics, education, evaluation, communication, and quality of practice (Halcomb et al., 2017). Each of these areas has its unique standards that caregivers and clinicians should take into consideration. The ultimate objective is to ensure that all patients receive exemplary services and care.


The above discussion has identified several areas that nurses should take seriously if they want to achieve their goals and deliver high-quality health services to their patients. The concepts of leadership, ethical decision-making, and standards of practice are relevant to every practitioner. Those who focus on them will remain professional and emerge successful.


Halcomb, E., Stephens, M., Bryce, J., Foley, E., & Ashley, C. (2017). The development of professional practice standards for Australian general practice nurses. JAN: Leading Global Nursing Research, 73(8), 1958-1969. Web.

Kaiser, J. A. (2017). The relationship between leadership style and nurse‐to‐nurse incivility: Turning the lens inward. Journal of Nursing Management, 25(2), 110-118. Web.

Nora, C. R., Deodato, S., Vieira, M. M., & Zaboli, E. L. (2016). Elements and strategies for ethical decision-making in nursing. Texto & Contexto Enfermagem, 25(2), 1-9. Web.

Xu, J. (2017). Leadership theory in clinical practice. Chinese Nursing Research, 4(4), 155-157. Web.

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