The Role of the Nurse and Scope of Practice Toolkit
Healthcare is ever-changing, requiring the role of the nurse to be fluid. Nurses have an accountability to ensure clients are receiving safe, competent, compassionate, and ethical care. This toolkit was created to help nurses, their employers, and the public to have greater understanding of the role of the nurse and what is meant by scope of practice.
Role of the Nurse
Nurses have an integral and valued role in the health care system. Being prepared to articulate the role of the nurse will educate key decision makers, other health members of the healthcare team and the public, regarding the role and the impact RNs have in healthcare.
- Understanding and Communicating My Role
- Contribution of RNs and NPs to Improved Patient Outcomes
- Leadership in Nursing
- Use of Professional Title and Use and Mis-Use of Professional Title
- Professionalism in Nursing
Scope of Practice
Being able to describe what it means to be a nurse is often difficult because nursing practice cannot be reduced to a list of tasks or activities. Additionally, the over-lapping scope of practice that RNs have with other care providers can create a grey zone of being able to identify where the role of the nurse starts and stops within the healthcare team. The following documents clarify what is meant by the term ‘scope of practice’ in relation to RN practice in New Brunswick.
- Defining the Scope of RN Practice
- Reassignment to an Unfamiliar Practice Setting
- Handover of Care
- Care Planning
Can I Do That?
A Decision Making Tool to Help Define Nursing Scope of Practice
This tool is meant to be used in determining safe and authorized practice for registered nurses (RNs) and nurse practitioners (NPs), in all practice settings. The application of this algorithm is shaped by legislation, the needs of the client, the practice environment, and individual RN or NP competence. In all areas of practice, RNs and NPs are accountable to their NANB standards of practice and the CNA Code of Ethics. The following key considerations provide guidance to determine if a specific activity (role, procedure, process) is appropriate for an individual RN or NP to perform.
Begin with Question #1. Answering ‘Yes’ to a question allows you to proceed to the next question. Answering ‘No’ to any question means that practice may not be appropriate at this time and additional consultation with NANB may be required. If ‘Yes’ is selected for all questions in the tool, then the activity is within your scope of practice.