The nursing standards of care are the baseline that comprehends the patient safety and quality of care that delivered to them. These standards embrace a caring, professional, and legal aspect of nursing. According to American Nurses Association (2010), “The standards of practice describe a competent level of nursing care as demonstrated by the critical thinking model known as the nursing process.” Whenever these standards are subject to refine, American Nurses association leaders address “who”, “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how” of nursing practice in standards of practice and standards of professional performance (ANA, 2010).
The development and improvement of these standards involve professional specialty nursing, educational institutions, state boards of nursing, credentialing and accrediting organizations, and other government regular entities like Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JACHO), Department of Health Scope of Practice, American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC), American Nurses Association (ANA), National League of Nursing (NLN), American Organization of Nurse Executives (ALONE), and National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN). After initiating the process of standards development or revision, these identify roles, functions of contributors, and lead writers for the process. The content from foundational documents guides the contributors in this process. A realistic timeframe, strategies to overcome barriers and promote success, and feedback from reviewers are essential for this process (Finnell et. al., 2015). When a challenge or trend arises in the healthcare profession and standards are subject to refine, ANA relies on its members. Its members are nurses in the practice who is accountable for developing, implementing, meeting, holding fellow workers, reviewing and improving standards of practice.
The elected members from ANA and other collaborating organizations work in groups, do research on the issue at hand, write a statement before going to ANA for final approval. Representatives from ANA, NLN, ANCC, boards of nursing, and NCSBN work on it and an authoritative statement of duties developed that all nurses are expected to perform competently, regardless of their role, place, population, specialty, or other circumstance (ANA, 2010). ANA publishes these statements in terms of six standards of practice including assessment, diagnosis, outcomes identification, planning, implementation, and evaluation as well as ten standards of professional performance including ethics, education, evidence-based practice and research, quality of practice, communication, leadership, collaboration, professional practice evaluation, resource utilization, and environmental health ANA (2010).
State boards of nursing enforce standards of care at the state level based on ANA provided the guideline. ANCC and other entities work at national level. All in all, ANA, JACHO, NCSBN, ANCC, state boards, and other specialty organizations establish standards of practice and ANA publishes these standards at national level patient safety and quality care practice. The federal and state laws, rules and regulations from educational and professional agencies or organizations establish and implement the standards of practice to enhance the quality of care and safe practice. Nurses are accountable for developing, implementing, and refining standards of practice whenever a challenge or trend arises in the nursing profession.ReferencesAmerican Nurses Association (ANA).
(2010). Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (2nd ed.). Silver Springs, MD: Nursebooks.org.
ISBN-13: 978-1-55810-288-0Finnell, D., Thomas, E. Nehring, W., McLoughlin, K.
, Bickford, C. (2015). Best Practices for Developing Specialty Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice. Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(2):1. Doi:103912/OJIN.Vol20No02Man01