Nursing practice can include employment experience in clinical practice, nursing administration, education, research, or consultation in the specialization indicated by the certification. The position must be one that a Registered Nurse can fill. Nursing practice may be defined as a position that can be filled by another licensed care provider if the role can be filled by an RN.
Nursing practice – Principles
The principles define what constitutes safe and effective nursing care, as well as the behaviors, attitudes, and approaches that support it.
The Royal College of Nursing, in collaboration with the Department of Health and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, created each of the principles. They were developed with input from patients, the general public, and healthcare professionals.
- Principle A
Nurses and nursing staff treat everyone in their care with dignity and humanity, understanding their unique needs, demonstrating compassion and sensitivity, and providing care in a way that respects everyone equally.
- Principle B
Nurses and nursing staff accept responsibility for the care they provide and are accountable for their own judgments and actions; they carry out these actions in a way that is agreed upon by their patients, their families, and carers, and that comply with their professional bodies’ and legal requirements.
- Principle C
Nurses and nursing staff manage risk, remain attentive to danger, and assist in keeping everyone safe in healthcare settings.
- Principle D
Nurses and nursing staff deliver and promote care that puts people first, involves patients, service users, their families, and their carers in decision-making, and empowers them to make informed treatment and care decisions.
- Principle E
Nurses and nursing staff are at the center of the communication process: they assess, document, and report on treatment and care, handle information sensitively and confidentially, successfully address complaints, and are diligent in expressing their concerns.
- Principle F
Nurses and nursing staff have current knowledge and abilities, which they apply with intelligence, insight, and understanding to meet the requirements of each person in their care.
- Principle G
Nurses and nursing staff collaborate closely with their colleagues and other experts to ensure that patients’ care and treatment are well-coordinated, of high quality and achieve the best possible results.
- Principle H
Nurses and nursing staff lead by example, develop themselves and other personnel and have an impact on how care is delivered in an open and responsive manner.
How can you use the principles
You can apply the principles as a nurse or a nursing student to:
- understand what patients, colleagues, families, and carers can expect from you
- help you reflect on your practice and grow as a professional
- generate discussions with your coworkers or, if you’re a student, with your mentor, tutor, or fellow students on the aspects of behavior, attitude, and approach that underpin good nursing care
- determine where the principles are being followed in your organization, where you believe they are not being followed, and how they relate to the nursing values of the trust.