Every certificated nurse either practicing RN nursing, LVN nursing or LPN nursing is accountable for being familiar with the Nurse Practice Act in their state. This is the law that manages the act of nursing. Modern nurse is not nurse in the past. Although we are still caregivers, over the years we have grown into managers instead of followers. Despite the fact that we still receive commands, no assessment has been sent to us and we do notspend the next eight hours doing tasks any longer.
In nursing whether you are an RN Registered Nurse or an LVN Licensed Vocational Nurse or an LPN Licensed Practical Nurse we are responsible for safe practice. What does this mean? It means assessment (monitoring and observing); it means to plan and implement nursing care; it means to implement specific actions (such as teaching and supervision); it means evaluating nursing care (observing, monitoring and communicating); it means maintaining adequate documentation; it means working within our scope of practice.
When a patient asks for pain medication, it’s not enough to give it and walk away. Nurses must follow the steps of safe practice: Where is the pain? What is the level of pain on a scale of 0 -10? What makes it better and what makes it worse? When was the patient last medicated for pain? What was the medication, how much medication and did the patient receive any relief? Now it may be time to administer the pain medication, document this, reassess in one hour, and then document the effect.
Each licensed nurse whether practicing RN nursing, LVN nursing or LPN nursing is responsible for knowing the Nurse Practice Act in their state.
This is the law that controls the practice of nursing. The nurse must also know and understand the Standard of Care for the facility in which they are working. Procedures and polices can differ from facility to facility. A nurse also needs to know the difference between negligence and malpractice.
What are the qualities of an effective leader? One that is supportive and creates a positive environment; one who is assertive and makes needs and desires known; one who is sensitive and objective; one who uses active listening skills; one who is responsible and dependable; one who facilitates: one who provides resources and motivates others.
Each nurse needs to take responsibility for their professionalism. We need to remember that we not only represent ourselves but each other. Be proud of being a nurse, take it seriously. Continuing education in RN courses, LVN courses or LPN courses is a necessary and important part of our profession. Medicine changes rapidly and nurses need to be aware of new technology. We are lucky to have so many different specialties to work in. Whatever you are doing, remember you are a professional!