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Professional Accountability

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Standards of practice and professional accountability are inextricably woven together. Standards describe the “what and how” of delivering nursing care. Professional accountability is creating the standards, meeting those standards, holding peers to the standards, and revising the standards when needed.

As your e-text describes “Standards of practice are the “what” and describe a competent level of nursing care. Standards of professional performance are the “how” of nursing (Cresaia & Friberg, 2010). The ANA’s Scope and Standards of Clinical Nursing Practice (2004) describe both the “what” and “how” of professional nursing.

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This document outlines nine specific standards that describe the level of competence required in the role of the professional nurse (American Nurses Association, 2004).

The model in your e-text that depicts professionalism provides a graphic display of all the essential elements which nurses need to include in their practice to support professional development. The ANA’s Code of Ethics for Nurses (2001) makes it clear that nurses are accountable for their judgments and actions independent of hospitals, physicians, or other health care organizations.

Nurses are accountable for themselves to the patient, the public, other health care team members, and members of the nursing profession.

Standards of practice are developed and found in professional specialty nursing organizations, education institutions, state boards of nursing, and other government regulatory bodies. When working to determine the standard of care in various situations, all of these entities might have information about the standard of care.

Professional development is the sum total of the activities displayed in the model. By completing your BSN you are working in the center of the Wheel of Professionalism: Education in a university setting and scientific background of nursing. All the other spokes of professionalism emanate from that center. Congratulations on your journey!

Institute of Medicine (IOM) Report on the Future of Nursing

A recent development on the landscape of nursing is the IOM report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health,” which was released in October 2010. The IOM is an independent, nongovernment organization that gives advice to people in decision-making positions. Its Mission is to “serve as adviser to the nation to improve health.” The opinions of the IOM are highly regarded and carry weight in legislative decision. The report outlines major categories of change needed in nursing to meet the health care needs of the nation (Institute of Medicine, 2010):

· Nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training.

· Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression.

· Nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.

· Effective workforce planning and policy making require better data collection and information infrastructure.

Nursing leaders are in the process of determining how these initiatives should be addressed. In your assignment this week you will add your thoughts to the dialog surrounding the IOM report.


The standards of practice, along with professional accountability and continued professional development, form the foundation for the nursing profession as it continues to evolve with the ever-changing needs of those they serve, be it the patient, the public, health care team members, or the nursing profession.


American Nurses Association, Scope and standards of clinical nursing practice (2004 ed.). Silver Springs, MD: American Nurses Association.

Cresaia, J., & Friberg, E. (2010). Conceptual foundations: The bridge to professional nursing practice. (5th ed). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Institute of Medicine (2010). Future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health. Washington, DC:The National Academies Press

Cite this Professional Accountability

Professional Accountability. (2016, Jun 11). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/professional-accountability/

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