Roles and Responsibilities of the Registered Nurse

Roles and Responsibilities of the Registered Nurse


Registered nurses play a significant role in the current healthcare industry. They are on the frontline of the medical workforce with the duty of providing high-quality care to patients in several settings such as assisted living facilities, hospitals, and doctor’s offices, as well as outpatient health facilities (Norful et al 2017). Working as part of the health care team, registered nurses provide several patient services, including administering medications, operating medical equipment, educating patients about prevention of diseases, and primary and preventative care. This essay is going to discuss the role and responsibilities of the registered nurse.

Recent Changes and Their Impact on the Roles and Responsibilities of the Registered Nurse, in Terms of Patient Care and the Wider Community

There has been a change in training for nurses. Previously, training was not necessary and many sick individuals obtained care from their family members and parents, especially mother. Nowadays, there are specific and in-depth qualifications for nurses. There are several programs for nursing, certifications, specialties, and degrees for several nursing types, (Carnwell & Daly 2018).

Also, there has been a change in regards to the setting whereby it has shifted from being at home or on the battlefield to medical settings such as assisted living facilities, hospitals, home care services, or physician’s offices (Carnwell & Daly 2018). Currently, nursing professionals are required in the military, correctional institutions, or schools. They even travel to different parts of the country to meet nursing needs while they gain experience and pay.

There has been a change in the responsibilities of the nurses. Nurses are considered important medical professionals due to the extensive knowledge they possess as well as real-life skills application (Carnwell & Daly 2018). There has been a constant and growing change in the medical field, therefore creating the need for staff in all hospitals. The number of patients has also been growing and this calls for nurses to understand the manner of handling medical emergencies without the help of the physician, and this is what the educators are focusing on. In this sense, the nurses are not considered as assistants to doctors, but instead as their professionals with the medical knowledge to support this (Lowe et al. 2012).

Moreover, patient care has changed due to technological advancements which have resulted in an environment where care for patients has improved and helpful for them. Advancements in technology have played a significant role in saving more lives, making specific jobs easier for registered nurses, as well as creating a better experience for patients (Lowe et al. 2012).

The Role of the Nursing and Midwifery Council as a Professional Body for Nurses

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is responsible for the education of nurses across the United Kingdom. This is significant in shaping the content and design of the programs offered as well as stating what should be understood by registered nurses or midwives (Andrews et al. 2018). Also, it approves institutions of higher learning to offer medical programs, whereby it currently has accredited about 1000 programs in over 70 education institutions in the country (Andrews et al. 2018). Also, it is responsible for registering nurses and midwives. When learners complete their programs successfully, the institutions they were enrolled in always inform the NMC that those learners have attained the education and practice standards needed and in of good character and health. When they are considered fit to practice, they are then eligible to apply to be part of the register. It is estimated that different education institutions more than 22,000 newly qualified midwives and nurses to NMC (Andrews et al. 2018).

Additionally, the Nursing and Midwifery Council sets standards for practice and behavior which must be adhered to by all nurses and midwives. It outlines four main sections that it expects from nurses and midwives, including practice effectively, prioritizes people, promotes trust and professionalism, and preserves safety (Dimond 2012). Furthermore, NMC manages complaints about midwives and nurses. It investigates complaints where necessary. It also can restrict a midwife or nurse’s practice or remove them from their register.

Moreover, it is responsible for revalidation through developing and implementing a system for it. This is a system that every nurse and midwife in the country has to go through to continue being part of the NMC register. The professionals are required to renew their registration after every 3 years as well as confirm they are ready to meet the principles of the Code (Dimond 2012). Nurses and midwives are required to show they have fulfilled the needed hours of learning and practice activity through ongoing professional development, using feedback to improve and review their practice, and receiving confirmation from capable individuals to comment on their ongoing capacity to practice (Dimond 2012).

Analysis of the Code on Nursing Practice and the Role of the Registered Nurse

The NMC Code has four different sections based on the nursing core professional values and they include promote professionalism and trust, preserve safety, practice effectively, and prioritize people (Johnson et al. 2015). In regards to prioritize people, it means that a registered nurse must put the interest of the patient first. It is also necessary to treat the patients professionally and ethically in maintaining their dignity as well as ensuring that their needs are identified, assessed, and managed as necessary. Additionally, registered nurses should treat the service users with respect as this is necessary for the care process and in upholding the rights of the patients. For this reason, the registered nurses should not be disrespectful, judgmental, or discriminatory to patients regardless of patient behavior or personal views (Johnson et al. 2015).

Practice effectively means the ability of a registered nurse to practice effectively based on several factors. The factors include the ability to adhere to the evidence base, advise on treatment, interpret results of tests, and assess the patient’s needs (Johnson et al. 2015). Also, registered nurses should provide the best care within the shortest time possible while sharing the information with the patient as well as maintaining standards of professional knowledge and management of records.

Preserving safety means that registered nurses should be involved in all decision-making and ensuring the safety of the patient. The nurses should understand their skill set and limitations, understand when they are out of depth, and when they need help to deliver patient care (Johnson et al. 2015). Tring to manage patients when doubtful or lack the necessary knowledge or skill shows that the care is not safe. Also, the nurses should understand the care process of others and be alert to the probability of lapses in self-care, which may lead to adverse effects on the wellbeing of the patients. Furthermore, the nurses should be able to identify unsafe and safe practices, as well as be confident to report and address safety concerns promptly (Johnson et al. 2015).

Promote professionalism and trust means that registered nurses should defend the reputation of nursing and uphold professional values. Registered nurses should adopt all the necessary attitudes and behaviors outlined in the NMC Code and act as role models. Through ensuring professionalism in everyday practice, patients tend to trust nurses and will be more confident in their abilities (Johnson et al. 2015).

The Need for Effective Communication in a Multidisciplinary Healthcare Setting

Effective communication is important in building effective and respectful relationships with patients, colleagues, and patient’s relatives. Consequently, it fosters relationships that build trust and rapport (Benagiano & Brosens 2014). This results in improved experience and satisfaction with the health service, trusting the health service, and decreasing healthcare provider burnout and stress. Also, effective communication helps in showing personal leadership, motivating others, and resolving conflicts within the multidisciplinary team (Benagiano & Brosens 2014). Additionally, it facilitates the two-way exchange of information. This is important in ensuring accurate diagnosis and interpretation of symptoms and then comprehensively sharing the information within the multidisciplinary team (Benagiano & Brosens 2014).

Effective communication helps a multidisciplinary team engage patients in care planning and decision-making. This is through reaching agreement on plans and problems, facilitating self-management, recognizing that the person receiving care has an important role in co-producing their care, and ensuring that decisions are appropriate, realistic, and reflects the person’s preferences and goals for their care. This has been said to lead to improved outcome, enabling a better understanding of their care plan and treatment, improved adherence to treatment and care, increased ability of a person to self-manage their care, and improved satisfaction by a person of the decisions made about their care (Benagiano & Brosens 2014).

Effective communication helps in managing complexity and uncertainty within a multidisciplinary team. This is achieved through managing the expectations of the patient, keeping them informed, ensuring that the care is appropriate to meet their changing needs, ensure critical information is not lost when care is transferred between teams and ensuring that new information is considered and communicated. As a result, it leads to improved health outcomes matching care and treatment to the patient’s care needs, improved satisfaction and experience with health service, and reducing patient’s distress, confusion, or anxiety which may arise from care (Benagiano & Brosens 2014).

The Role of the Registered Nurse within a Multidisciplinary Healthcare Setting

The registered nurse has the role of patient care. This is because the nurse is a caregiver for patients and assist in managing their physical needs, treating their health conditions, and preventing illness. They achieve this through monitoring and observing the patient, as well as recording any important information important in assisting treatment decision making (Smolowitz et al 2015). During the entire process of treatment, the nurse follows the progress of the patient and acts following the interest of the patient in mind. The registered nurse provides care beyond medication administration and other therapies. They have a duty for the patient’s holistic care, which consists of spiritual, cultural, developmental, and psychosocial needs (Smolowitz et al 2015).

Also, registered nurses have a duty of patient advocacy as the patient is their priority. For this reason, they advocate for the patient’s best interest and maintaining their dignity throughput care and treatment. This can encompass giving recommendations in the patient’s treatment plan (Smolowitz et al 2015). This is important, especially because unwell patients are usually unable to understand medical situations and it is during this time that the registered nurse supports them and represents their best interests at all times (Smolowitz et al 2015).

Registered nurses have a duty of planning care. They are directly involved in the process of making decisions for a patient’s treatment. They think critically when assessing the signs of the patient to identify the potential challenges to take appropriate actions or recommendations (Smolowitz et al 2015). They communicate the patient’s information regarding their health effectively. Furthermore, registered nurses are responsible for providing patient medication and support. This is important in helping patients understand their treatments, medications, illnesses, and health to the best of their ability (Smolowitz et al 2015).


Registered nurses play an important role in providing high-quality healthcare to patients. The recent changes in the healthcare industry have resulted in the training of nurses, change in the setting, responsibilities of nurses, and improved care for patients due to technological advancements. The Nursing and Midwifery Council is responsible for the education of nurses, setting practice standards, approving medical programs offered in institutions of higher learning, and revalidation. The Code on nursing practice that guides registered nurses on their roles includes professional values such as promote professionalism and trust, preserve safety, practice effectively and prioritize people. Effective communication is important for fostering relationships, showing personal leadership, motivating others, and resolving conflicts within the multidisciplinary team, engaging patients in care planning and decision making, as well as managing the complexity and uncertainty within a multidisciplinary team. Registered nurses play a role in patient care, patient advocacy, planning care, and providing the patient with medications and support.

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