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Nursing Profession, Duties and Legislations Essay


Introduction

The nursing profession forms the largest health care occupation whose functions encompass offering health promotional activities, prevention of diseases as well as helping the patients cope with their illnesses. The profession is characterized by dynamism as well as research rooted in contemporary culture to deliver high quality and culturally sensitive health care to the community. The nursing practitioners are assigned the responsibility of the planning, implementing as well as evaluating nursing care.

They may work independently or as members of a team to achieve the aforementioned roles. The practitioners’ competencies and knowledge are shaped up by the nursing institutions established to enhance the practice (RCN, 2009). One such institution is the Royal College of Nursing, whose website this paper seeks to analyze.

Scope of nursing practice

The scope of the nursing profession encompasses the activities, roles as well as functions that nurses are trained on and mandated to do. An individual practitioner’s scope of operation is governed by a variety of factors, including the setting within which s/he operates, the patient’s needs, and the requirements of the employer. RCN offers elaborate training to all the categories of nurses in a bid to enhance their competencies. Nursing practice is governed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. Firstly, RCN prepares practitioners to be able to offer primary health care services in varied settings, including hospitals, homes, and schools, among other places of residence.

For instance, advanced practice nurses are mandated to offer primary health care, mental health services, diagnostic and prescriptive functions, as well as carrying out field research. According to RCN (2009), the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s codes of conduct stipulate that performance, standards of conduct, and ethics for nurses and midwives are also applicable to second-level registered nurses and other registrants of the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Legislations on nursing practice

The nursing practice in the United Kingdom is regulated mainly by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). In order for a health practitioner to practice as a registered nurse, s/he has to acquire valid and current registration from the aforementioned organ. Such an arrangement is stipulated in the Nurses, Midwives, and Health Visitors Act of 1997. The practitioners assume the name of registered nurses upon registering. For instance, the regulation of midwives commenced in 1902 in the UK. This was accomplished by an Act meant to not only regulate their practice but also improve their training. Nurses, on the other hand, were regulated by the Nurses Registration Act of 1919.

Issues/problems in the nursing profession

Nursing is a young and diverse profession that is still evolving hence faces many challenges during its development. In respect to the patient profile, location of care, and the type of service offered by the nurse, the scope of nursing practice is not only diverse but also varied in nature. Such diversity in nursing may be seen as stressful to the nurses as they try to establish their area of jurisdiction. Moreover, the public is also confused about the exact role of the nurses (RCN, 2009).

Besides, the increase in patient safety incidences in hospital settings is another challenge to the profession. Such incidences are caused by nurses while treating the patients and not the latter’s underlying disease. Social inclusion is another important issue in nursing practice. RNC has since adopted the online resource that encourages health professionals to cooperate with socially excluded communities in an attempt to offer them the health care they need (RCN, 2009).

It is commendable for the institution to initiate a website for e-Health that facilitates the transmission of healthcare information to the targeted group. Generally, the nursing profession is facing a shortage in the workforce as well as poor working conditions, including inadequate wages against heavy workloads. The shortages in the workforce are estimated to rise even further, given the expected change in demographic statistics.

Complaint/Disciplinary process

The nursing profession has a well-laid procedure of making complaints about the services offered by registered nurses. RNC believes that complaints can be handled locally. However, the complainants are encouraged to follow a formal procedure if need be. In such complaints, the complainant is expected to describe the complaint after introducing himself. He is expected to launch such complaints within three months of the incident or of becoming aware of the incident (RCN, 2009). Furthermore, the complainant is advised to whom the complaints are directed after following due process. The complainant is assured of speed and confidentiality in handling his/her complaints (RCN, 2009).

Through its wider scope of practice, the nursing profession has continued to offer primary health care to patients in different settings, including home care, hospitals as well as public health in general. The practitioners should, therefore, be compensated handsomely in addition to improving their working conditions in order to motivate them in providing quality health care possible. The terms and conditions of work for the practitioners deserve my attention hence the need to explore the area.

Conclusion

The nursing profession forms the basic health care occupation assigned with very important roles in society. It encompasses health promotional activities, prevention of illness as well as helping the patients in managing their illnesses in a variety of settings. The scope of the nursing profession is extremely wide and entails what the nurses are trained on and mandated to do. The role of registered nurses and midwives in a health care structure is governed by the legislation on the nursing practice.

Such legislations define what a registered nurse can or can not do. The profession is facing challenges given the demographic pressures exerted on the health care resources. For instance, the shortage of nurses and poor working conditions is a pertinent issue that is currently on the rise (RCN, 2009). However, the adoption of a formal disciplinary procedure for any complaints in the nursing practice is commendable.

Reference

RCN (2009). Royal College of Nursing. Web.

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1. IvyPanda. "Nursing Profession, Duties and Legislations." January 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/nursing-profession-duties-and-legislations/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. "Nursing Profession, Duties and Legislations." January 1, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/nursing-profession-duties-and-legislations/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Nursing Profession, Duties and Legislations'. 1 January.

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