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Registered Nurse Scope of Practice in Australia

Introduction to Roles and Responsibilities of A Nursing Practitioner

Nurses play a critical role in healthcare where they serve to be the primary contact with the patient and facilitate the treatment and care of the patients (Daly & Jackson, 2020). Nurses are also important as they assist in the identification of the patient’s problem and facilitate the provision of the quality care services to the patients (McInnes et al., 2017). Other than clinical duties, nurses are also obliged to provide support and knowledge to the patient and family to ensure that they are aware of the interventions to be applied and are involved in the process of decision making (Lane et al., 2017). Therefore, it can be seen that nurses are a critical link in effective functioning the healthcare systems and serve as a catalyst for better patient experience, overall satisfaction, and recovery in the care facility. The role of a nurse in a clinical facility can be diverse and range from assistance in diagnostics to therapeutic communication. This essay will identify the significance of nurse practitioners, in particular, reference to the graduate nurses and will discuss the registration standards in Australia. This essay will also identify the roles and responsibilities of nurse practitioners in reference to the established guidelines to produce a succinct discussion.

Significance of Nursing Practitioners

Nurses play a pivotal role in healthcare systems. The nurses’ function in direct association with the patients and are the initial line of contact in a care facility. Therefore, it becomes critical for the nurses to ensure that the patient is provided with adequate care and the clinical condition is diagnosed effectively (Daly & Jackson, 2020). The nurses’ function to identify signs and symptoms and collect cues from the patient information and synthesize suitable interventions to promote the wellbeing of the patient. Along with clinical responsibilities that are associated with facilitation of diagnostics and medical care, nurses are also essential in healthcare systems as they facilitate communication and develop positive relationships with the patient (Lane et al., 2017). Effective communication is a critical component of quality healthcare as it can probe the patient to provide effective medical details, build trust, and promote medication adherence and clinical compliance. The nurses are also the source of primary communication between the clinicians and the patient and thus play an elementary role in health promotion through counselling and education (McInnes et al., 2017). Graduate nurses, that are new to clinical scenarios mainly assist the senior healthcare practitioners and work effectively to record critical observations like patient vitals and perform medical assessments (Parker & Hill, 2017). Reporting of crucial information is one of the key areas of responsibility for graduate nurses as well. As healthcare is evolving the significance and importance of nurses in the care facility is becoming increasingly profound.

Nurse practitioners have emerged as primary care providers in the mainstream healthcare system. Nurse practitioners not only provide high-quality care to the patients but also contribute to healthcare research and evidence-based analysis of critical healthcare problems (Raymond et al., 2017). The role of nurse practitioner ranges from being the source of primary medical aid to the source of knowledge, aid, and primary communication. The nurses also provide essential emotional support and care to the family and aides of the patient and ensure their participation in the process of decision making (Johnstone, 2019) . The nurses also apply several theoretical and practical care models as interventions to ensure a holistic for the patients. Nurse practitioners are also monumental in the healthcare sector as their responsibility is not only limited till patient discharge but also to inquire for the required follow-ups to limit the hospital readmissions and to facilitate complete recovery (DeLaune et al., 2019). The nurse practitioners are of prime significance as they promote health and wellbeing of the community as a whole. Therefore, it can be deduced that the nurses play a significant role in the healthcare sector and function in multiple domains and conditions to ensure the well being of the patients and the community as a whole.

Registration Standards in Australia

Registration standards are a set of primary conditions that define the recruitment of the applicants, registrants, or the students that are required for the enrollment in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. The core registration standards that are established by the government of Australia include recording of the criminal history, English language skill standards, professional development standards. The recency of practice standards, and professional indemnity insurance agreements (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2017b). A graduate nurse must qualify for all the aforementioned criteria to be registered as a functional nursing practitioner in the healthcare system of Australia. Application of these standards in the process of registration ensures a quality check for the government of Australia while hiring the nurses in the healthcare system (Parker & Hill, 2017). It is crucial to have strict screening and registration process for graduate nurse practitioners that are joining the service to ensure quality in service and suitability of job as it has direct implications on the health and wellbeing of the community of the nation (Daly & Jackson, 2020).

In the application of the criminal history standard, the criminal history of the applicant is declared in the application to be functioning as a nurse practitioner in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Criminal history is declared in all countries. This application is checked by the AHPRA in the registration process. The nurses and midwives are required to declare charges and the AHPRA identifies if an individual is suitable to functioning as a healthcare practitioner in the country (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2017 a). The next essential registration standard is the English language skills registration standard. The English language skills standard was included by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia in 2019 and demands the applicants to demonstrate their ability to be capable in the language skills. This is done through multiple ways including evidence from IELTS, OET, TOEFL, PTE academic tests as a process for registration in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2019). The third registration standard that is required to be fulfilled by the graduate nurses to be registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is the standard for continuing professional development.

The continuing of professional development registration standard requires the nurses and midwives to maintain, improve, and constantly broaden their existing knowledge, competence, and expertise the healthcare professionals (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016 a). The standard also demands the healthcare professionals develop personal as well as professional qualities that are required to advance as competent healthcare professional. The registration of the recency of practice in nurse professionals is associated with the maintenance of an adequate connection with the recent practice as a healthcare professional in nursing since qualification or obtaining registration (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016 c). The final registration standard that requires clearing by the new nurses is the standard of professional indemnity of the insurance arrangements (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2017).

The standard obliges the nurses under the National law that the nurses and midwives cannot practice the profession in which they are registered until they possess appropriate professional indemnity insurance and the required arrangements that are associated with the practice (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016 b). This scheme is of prime importance as it acknowledges the national scheme under which the risk posed is insured for the healthcare practitioners who do not possess individual insurances. These arrangements assure that the practitioner is secure for the practice as a healthcare practitioner. These arrangements include acknowledgement of the risk of professional practice, civil liability, loss and claim of negligence, error in omissions or poor conduct of the professional (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016 b). Therefore, for a graduate nurse joining the nursing practice in Australia under the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia is required to complete this registration process and verify himself/herself as a registered healthcare practitioner.

Roles, Responsibilities and Guidelines

The roles and responsibilities of the graduate nurses advancing into nurse practitioners in the Australian healthcare system have been developed by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. The practitioner guidelines establish the scope of practice for the nursing professionals and provide suitable roles and responsibilities to the professionals. The first practitioner standard is an assessment of the diagnostic capabilities of an individual (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b). This standard is applicable through the fulfillment of its inclusive statements. The primary statement asserts that the nurse practitioner must conduct a comprehensive, holistic, and relevant health assessment of the patient. The primary assessment of the patient is a core responsibility of the healthcare professionals and focuses on the development of identification of signs, symptoms, and cues for the suitable diagnosis of the clinical condition of the patient so that the required intervention can be applied (Daly & Jackson, 2020).

The nurses are also obliged to demonstrate a timely approach for carrying out the diagnostic interventions for the process of clinical decision making. Critical thinking and timely action help in the process of decision making and facilitate the taking of suitable action by the nursing professionals to ensure well being of the patient (Parker & Hill, 2017). The nurse practitioners must ensure that the diagnosis is applied through evidence-based action and are backed by diagnostic reasoning to ensure the beneficence of the patient and to promote health (Raymond et al., 201). The second standard of the nursing practitioners is to plan carefully and engage others in providing care to the patient (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b). This standard is applied by the nurses to translate and integrate the evidence for planning care for the patient. This is inclusive of deciding and planning the suitable interventions that must be applied to the patient to ensure his or her well being to facilitate recovery (Lane et al., 2017). Under this standard, the nurses must also educate the patient and support the allies of the patient to promote their active participation in the care.

Shared decision making is beneficial not only in ensuring holistic care but also helps in conservation of patient autonomy and wellbeing (Parker & Hill, 2017). The nurse practitioners must also ensure that the medications and therapeutic interventions that are being applied are of high quality and suitable consultations are provided to the patient whenever needed with interdisciplinary care and external referrals when required (DeLaune et al., 2019). The third standard if the nursing practice is to prescribe and implement the therapeutic interventions for the care of the patient (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b). The nurses must ensure prescription of indicated pharmacological as well as non-pharmacological interventions by contribution to health literacy and sharing the alternate options for treatment available for the patient (Ryan & McAllister, 2019). The nurses must also ensure development and maintenance of relationships with the patients and their primary carers by providing critical support and enhanced communication (Norful et al., 2017). The nurses are also obliged to work in accordance with the federal, state, and the territorial legislation that establish the professional directive for practice and define the duty of care as per the legislation (Endacott et al., 2018). The final standard that is associated with the nursing practitioner guidelines of Australia is to evaluate the outcomes of the own practice (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b). A nursing practitioner should evaluate the outcomes of their practice by performing critical reflections and participate in health advocacy (Ryan & McAllister, 2019). A nurse practitioner must also participate and lead the systems by providing crucial insights associated with safe care through collaborative approaches to promote safe care for the patients (Briks et al., 2016).

Along with the professional guidelines, the nurse practitioner must also oblige to the ethical code of conduct established by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia that provides a moral imperative of the cations that should be taken by the nursing professionals to ensure the well being of the patient. The code of conduct established for the nurses helps in ethical decision making and promotes beneficence of patient but conservation of patient autonomy and effective decision making. The first standard of the code of conduct is to ensure legal compliance (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b). The nurses must ensure to take actions as per the national law of Australia and adhere to the roles and responsibilities. The second ethical standard established by the code of conduct is to ensure person-centred care. Person-centred care helps in the delivery of higher quality of care by understanding the needs of the patient (Parry & Grant, 2016). The third standard is to ensure cultural practice and develop respectful relationships (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b).

The nursing professionals must respect the diversity in social and cultural norms while providing care and eliminate any form of prejudice. The fourth standard of nursing practise is to exhibit professional behaviour and maintain boundaries and the fifth standard is to teach, supervise, and assess the fellow nurses to ensure highest quality care provided to the patient (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b). Through the application of these standards, a respectful relationship is built with the patient and high-quality care is ensured. The sixth standard by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (2018 b) is to promote research in health and to contribute through nursing research. The seventh standard by the code of conduct and practice is to promote the health and well being of the patients (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2018 b). The nurses graduate nurses and nurse practitioners are obliged to follow the guidelines of nursing practice and the code of conduct to develop as competent nurses and provide competent care to the patients.

Conclusion on Roles and Responsibilities of A Nursing Practitioner

This essay provides a detailed analysis of the nursing roles and responsibilities and identifies how nurses play a foundational role in the maintenance of community health and well-being. The essay also identifies how nurses play a diverse role in the healthcare sector and have significant contributions to maintain the health of the individuals in the healthcare system. This essay also identifies the mode of registration of new nurses in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia with a discussion on the registration standards that must be qualified by an individual to be a nursing professional. The roles and responsibilities of nurses as per the guidelines by the government of Australia and the professional code of conduct have also been included in this paper. A critical discussion has been presented to provide a succinct description of the essential duties that must be fulfilled by the nurse practitioners working in Australia.

References for Roles and Responsibilities of A Nursing Practitioner

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Daly, J., & Jackson, D. (2020). Contexts of nursing: An introduction. Australia: Elsevier. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=tfj6DwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=nursing+roles+and+responsibilities+in+Australia&ots=lPuB0yM0kJ&sig=qTbiD6hAU6TZgjGSMIq6wqEPCm4

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