Scope of practice describes the roles and responsibilities that a certified health professional is permitted to undertake or perform. Besides, numerous nursing questions are described by the concept of nursing scope and standards of practice. These include the “who,” “what,” “why,” among others. Health stakeholders often understand nursing considerations whenever these questions are answered. Besides, it is difficult to make changes to the nursing scope of practice as the profession is dynamic and is associated with evolving healthcare demands. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has established a program that sets standards of practice for all the health professionals, recognizes a given nursing specialty, and affirms an individual’s competency related to a particular field of nursing. This paper outlines the roles of the nurse in the registered nurse program, in which I am enrolled, and the standards of practice and compares and contrasts the scope of practice of the licensed practical nurses (LPN) and registered nurses (RN).
As an RN, my primary role is to participate in and perform patient care to improve the patients’ health status. I am certified to perform various duties such as diagnosis of patients, and administering medication. Besides, as an RN, I assign duties to unlicensed assistive personnel, as well as the licensed practical nurses who may be below me in the chain of command.
ANA provides a framework of standards of practice for the RNs. In conjunction with the code of ethics for RNs, the standards of practice require the nurses to be accountable for their practice and ensure that their practice and professional conduct meet the terms of their professional licenses. Additionally, RNs are required to engage in practical nurse preparations to obtain sufficient clinical knowledged ensure they continuously learn what is relevant to their area of practice. These nurses are also required to constantly practice nursing in collaboration with all health stakeholders, including patients, clinicians to provide and improve health care services for the general public’s best interest. RNs are also required to uphold, support, and adhere to the values and beliefs described by ANA’s code of ethics.
LPNs and RNs have several similarities in their scope of practice. For example, both are permitted to work directly with the patients and are responsible for their (patients’) care and well-being (McCloskey et al.,2015). They are also allowed to take leadership and management positions at various health organizational levels. However, their scope of practice differs in various aspects. LPNs scope of practice is limited, and they can only perform specific duties, such as collecting clinical data but not diagnosing patients. They work under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses. On the other hand, registered nurses can provide direct interventions, such as administering medication (Curnew & Lukewich, 2018). Other roles of the RNs include undertaking patient education and counseling roles and advocating for justice for the marginalized population.
The nursing scope of practice helps to identify the services that a particular health professional is permitted to perform or undertake. That way, these professionals understand their roles, and unnecessary, unfortunate incidents are avoided. LPNs scope of practice and that of RNs differ, although they have some similarities. As an RN nurse, I would use the scope of practice to further my education and expertise to support my role and to deliver the most efficient and quality care to patients.
Curnew, D. R., & Lukewich, J. (2018). Nursing within primary care settings in Atlantic Canada: A scoping review. SAGE Open, 8(2), 2158244018774379. Retrieved from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2158244018774379
McCloskey, R., Donovan, C., Stewart, C., & Donovan, A. (2015). How registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and resident aides spend time in nursing homes: An observational study. International journal of nursing studies, 52(9), 1475-1483. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0020748915001844