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Regulatory Agency vs. Professional Organization in Nursing Essay

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Updated: Aug 6th, 2020

Regulatory Agency and Professional Organization Differences

Differences between Regulatory Agencies and Professional Organizations

In nursing, it is important to know the essence and identify the functions of two important bodies that are regulatory agencies and professional organizations. For a long period, professional organizations and various associations in nursing care have been used as essential bodies to generate the energy of nurses, control the flow of ideas, promote trust and quality, and advocate the needs of all stakeholders (Matthews, 2012). As well as professional organizations, regulatory agencies aim at developing due care standards with the help of which the minimization of harm to patients is possible (Butts & Rich, 2015). Still, there are some functional differences between these two bodies. A regulatory body has to act in the interests of the public and promote the actual process of regulation. In its turn, a professional nursing organization has to act in the interests of the chosen profession and promote practitioners and the representatives of the profession. A Board of Nursing is the example of a regulatory agency with its body of law in the form of the Nursing Practice Act (NPA).

Examples of Regulatory Agencies and Professional Organizations

In California, there are two important Boards of Nursing including the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the California Board of Registered Nursing. The American Nurses Association (ANA) with the Code of Ethics is the example of a professional nursing organization that cannot be defined as law but can help to identify the nursing standards of professional behavior and actions. One of the main functions of the Board of Nursing is to publish the codes of conduct. The ANA, as a professional body, has to make sure that all members have access to the regulations, understand the codes, and follow them respecting all representatives of the profession. In general, the core functional differences between the Board of Nursing and the ANA include their relation to the codes, and regulations and the possibilities to represent the interests of different groups of people. A professional nursing organization focuses on the interests of its membership and the establishment of the criteria for performance evaluation, and a regulatory agency concentrate on people and the establishment of the mandates for quality and safety (Washington & Leaver, 2015).

ANA Code of Ethics Provisions and Effects of Clinical Provisions on a Nursing Practice

Evaluation of Provisions

In the ANA Code of Ethics, nine provisions are introduced in the form of non-contextual statements concerning the obligations and rules that have to be followed by all nurses in the United States (American nurses association, 2015). Each provision is the idea that has to be understood by a nurse and accepted as the basis for nursing practice. It is hard to define which provision is more or less important because each of them helps to become good and professional and achieve the required perfection. For example, the second provision states that “the nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient, whether an individual, family, group, community or population” (American nurses association, 2015, par. 2). This provision consists of four main tasks for nurses that include (1) the necessity to identify and understand the interests of patients, (2) the importance to deal with conflict of interests that could arise from workplace loyalties, (3) the significance of collaboration that promotes safety, service quality, and the development of relations, and (4) the identification of professional boundaries between nurses, patients, and colleagues. The eighth provision teaches that “the nurse collaborates with other health professionals and the public to protect human rights, promote health diplomacy, and reduce health disparities” (American nurses association, 2015, par. 8). In this provision, the authors raise the importance of human rights, health needs, and concerns, and responsibilities nurses have in regards to patients, colleagues, and other health professionals. Health is defined as a universal human right, and each person deserves the right to be healthy. Nurses have to realize that their abilities could help people to improve their health and deepen their understanding of health issues and concerns.

Impact of Provision on Nursing Practice

In the clinical environment, a nurse could face several ethical dilemmas that could be solved with the help of the Code of Ethics. The second provision is about the commitment to patients and their families and the abilities to examine conflicts that could arise between their personal and professional values, the values of other caregivers, and the values of patients (American nurses association, 2015, par. 2). This provision is important for nurses because they have to learn how to find a balance between different beliefs and the already established norms. For example, there are many patients, who do not have families but have good friends. Friends cannot be informed about the state of people they take care of. Healthcare providers do not have the right to discuss the conditions of patients with anyone except family members. Still, in nursing practice, many healthcare providers understand the inabilities to have relatives available and recognize patients’ friends as a significant part of a support system. In such a case, the questions of collaboration, conflict resolution, and understanding of patients’ interests are taken into consideration. The eight provision underlines the importance of human rights and the necessity to consider the political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions of nursing care (American nurses association, 2015, par. 8). For example, when there is a line of patients, and some of them do not have proper clean clothes or an appropriate look, nurses should not turn away but treat such patients the same way they could treat other people. All people have rights for emergency care, basic sanitation, immunization, and even education to prevent injuries. Poor people should also consider health as a universal human right, and nurses have to do everything possible to prove this fact.

Professional Traits in the ANA Code of Ethics Provisions and Their Usage by an Interdisciplinary Team of Healthcare Professionals

Professional Traits in the ANA Code of Ethics

The ANA Code of Ethics is the source of some professional traits that have to be possessed by every nurse. It is hard to identify the traits that play an important role in nursing practice and the traits that can be neglected from time to time. After reading the Code of Ethics, I realize that a nurse could have many responsibilities and face certain challenges at work. Still, the consideration of such traits as collaboration, respect, accountability, and authority should help to define the priorities and choose the most appropriate directions. Collaboration is a very important trait for nurses because it helps to promote patient’s care and safety. Collaboration with health professionals has to be clearly articulated (American nurses association, 2015) because it is a good chance to develop trustful relations and shared decision-making processes. The exchange of information could be fast and thoughtful in case of nurses succeed in collaboration. The next trait is respect. This quality touches upon different types of respect: for healthcare workers, patients, human rights, justice, autonomy, and self-respect. The third quality is the accountability that makes nurses take care of their patients, follow the quality and time of treatment and care, and make sure that all-important information is given properly. Finally, authority is the trait that helps nurses to understand that there is a group of people, who have to be reported to, and there is a group of people, who define a nurse as an authority. Therefore, it is necessary to know how to report to authority and how to become an example of authority for people.

Professional Traits to Interdisciplinary Team

The interdisciplinary team of healthcare professionals has to realize that each trait helps a nurse to become a good specialist and provided or high-quality patients care. Collaboration is the identification of each other rights, positions, and ideas and the intentions to work together and achieve the best outcomes. I believe that my cooperation with physicians, nurse practitioners, LVNs, CNAs, respiratory and physical therapists, and dietitians provides patients with timely treatment. I underline the importance of working in a team and discuss the results with different people. When team members respect each other, they demonstrate mutual trust. I respect the decisions made by healthcare providers, discuss the outcomes, and consider the opinions and demands of patients when I provide them with care. Accountability is the trait that cannot be neglected when it is necessary to define the tasks and make sure that each duty is complete because the lives of people depend on the way of how nurses could work. The interdisciplinary team could learn about accountability when I try to demonstrate how it is necessary to complete the functions of a nurse, take care of patients, and make sure that treatment is offered regarding doctor’s prescriptions. Finally, authority in teams is the possibility to divide duties and clarify what kind of work has to be done by a nurse in certain timeframes. I bring this trait to an interdisciplinary team by organizing meetings and discussing the current tasks.

Identification of a Nursing Theory and Its Impact on Professional Practice

Nursing Theory Identification

Various nursing theories were introduced during the last several decades. Each theorist tried to underline the main issues of nursing and guide healthcare workers. Lydia Hall is one of the brightest theorists of the 20th century. The theorist admits that “everyone in the health professions either neglects or takes into consideration any or all of these, but each profession, to be a profession, must have an exclusive area of expertness with which it practices, creates new practices, new theories” (Smith & Parker, 2015, p. 59). She was a rehabilitation nurse and a writer, who developed a powerful philosophy adopted by several followers (Alligood, 2014). Her Core, Care, and Cure model is the theory about the importance of three elements in the nursing job. A nurse has to identify several important functions like the necessity to take care of a patient’s body (care), to develop nurturing relations with a patient and get control over all feelings and emotions (core), and to identify the peculiarities of a disease that should be treated (cure).

Professional Practice Theory Fit

I want to believe that the theory developed by Lydia Hall could help me succeed in my decision to become a professional nurse, who knows how to help people, when to help people, and what kind of care is required in a particular case. Her three circles of care, core, and cure could be used to identify the main functions of a nurse and a patient and focus a person on the areas a nurse has to be involved in. First, nursing should include bodily care to comfort a patient and develop interpersonal relations as a part of the nursing process (Smith & Parker, 2015). The cure is the circle that supports the idea of cooperation between nurses and doctors to promote successful completion of medical tasks and help patients who need medical care, rehabilitation, or surgeries. Finally, in nursing practice, the core is the circle where some social, emotional, spiritual, and intellectual needs are taken into consideration (Smith & Parker, 2015). Nurses should know how to combine all those needs with the expectations of patients and their families.

Contributions of a Historical Nursing Figure and Impact on Professional Nursing Practices

My fascination with Margaret Sanger could be explained in two simple ways. First, this nurse was one of the brightest examples of what it means to have an idea and cherish it throughout the whole life to make significant contributions and improve the lives of millions of people. Her history began at the end of the 1800s. Sanger lost her mother after 18 pregnancies with 11 births only. Her father supported her idea to stand up for what she wanted to believe in and become a specialist in providing a car for pregnant women. The point is that pregnant women could be the patients of different hospital departments, and nurses have to be ready to treat them properly to save their lives and the lives of babies inside. First, Sanger got the required portion of education at New York’s White Plains Hospital. Then, she wrote for different newspapers to improve women’s awareness of sex, sexual relations, contraception, etc. Then, she was the first, who opened a special clinic in New York where women could find the required support and counseling during their pregnancies.

The main contribution of this nurse was her intention to combine actual help with theoretical knowledge. She believed that it was not enough to help women to give births to children. It was also crucial to explain women their roles, possibilities, and responsibilities. Her example inspired and taught me a lot because I do believe that theory and practice have to go together all the time. In case a nurse neglects some theoretical aspects, the practice could be spoiled in a short period. I try to give my patients some brochures or articles from newspapers so that they could read and learn during their treatment to avoid problems or misunderstandings in the future.

Nursing Principles for Protecting Patients

In nursing, the principles of beneficence and respect for autonomy play a very important role. Respect for autonomy occurs when nurses have to demonstrate their respect for patients’ rights and support their independently made decisions. Beneficence is the type of compassion demonstrated by a nurse to take the actions, do good, and help patients. There was a situation when a nurse had to take care of an old man, who addressed to the hospital after he had injured the leg and could not walk independently. The man had to visit the X-ray room in the morning, but he could not move and was angry because of his inabilities. Then, he asked the nurse to provide him with some pain reliefs that could be found in his pocket. Such a decision could help him to forget about the pain and follow the directions of the doctors. The nurse found the drug, read the instruction, and understood that the drug was not dangerous for the man. Still, she could not decide on her own. She asked the doctor about the possibility to provide the patient with certain pain relief. The doctor investigated the case and said that her decision was correct. As a result, the nurse provided the patient with pain relief so that she demonstrated her compassion to the old man (beneficence) and underlined her respect for his autonomy when she supported his independent decision. At the same time, she demonstrated respect for the medical workers at the hospital and proved that cooperation between doctors and patients could be successful in case a nurse would be ready to make fast decisions and take the steps accordingly.

Personal Reflection of the Four Areas of Nursing

Quality and Safety

Nurses have to take responsibility for different issues in their practice. For example, quality and safety in health care and nursing depend on the level of the knowledge, skills, and gained professional attributes, which are important in a certain area of practice. The quality of health and nursing care could be improved through the interventions that promote patient safety. In nursing, quality is the possibility to keep the balance between what is possible, what is desirable, and what is allowed. In its turn, safety is the possibility to reduce medical errors and provide patients with the services that could improve their health and stabilize their emotional and psychological well-being. In my practice, I follow the standards that all care I offer to patients should be of high quality and safety.

Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing

Evidence-based practice (EBP) aims at using the past or current knowledge in nursing to make the decisions and improve the nursing care process. As soon as nurses get access to EBP, they realize that they have many opportunities to change the sphere of nurses, to identify new standards, and to make sure that patients are satisfied and enjoy good outcomes. As a nurse, I want to believe that my evidence-based practice is my opportunity to identify my weaknesses and learn how to improve them using the examples offered.

Applied Leadership

My practice helped me to comprehend how important the role of nurses in a team of medical workers. A nurse has to find enough time to communicate with a patient, develop clinical knowledge, and cooperate with doctors. Several tasks should be performed by nurses. Therefore, they have to be good leaders due to their necessity to communicate with all members of a team. As an applied leader, I tried to use my knowledge and experiences to help other people complete their tasks, promote safe care for patients, and build powerful foundations.

Community and Population Health

The section of community and population health is the possibility to investigate the outcomes of the course and the results I could observe. Each community is a combination of various health problems and different solutions that could be offered. As soon as a nurse becomes a part of a community, there is a necessity to investigate population health issues and needs. I realized that the needs of people have to be identified by nurses as soon as possible to develop appropriate treatment and support for patients.


Alligood, M.R. (2014). Nursing theorists and their work. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

American nurses association. (2015). Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements. Washington, DC: American Nurses Publishing.

Butts, J.B., & Rich, K.L. (2015). Nursing ethics: Across the curriculum and into practice. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Matthews, J.H. (2012). Role of professional organizations in advocating for the nursing profession. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 17(1). Web.

Smith, M.C., & Parker, M.E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis.

Washington, C.M., & Leaver, D.T. (2015). Principles and practice of radiation therapy. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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