Nursing Scope Of Practice And Medical Errors – Article Example

Nursing Scope of Practice and Medical Errors Establishing a clear scope of practice for nurses is very effective in avoiding medical errors. With this said, what are the activities a qualified nurse on duty may perform today? Well, some states now allow nurse practitioners and certified nurse midwives to check on patients and prescribe medications without a physician’s approval (The Future of Nursing: Focus on Scope of Practice - Institute of Medicine, n.d.).
However, current laws in many states authorizes that nurses provide direct and indirect patient care such as insuring their safety, comfort, personal hygiene, protection of patients, & performance of disease prevention and restorative measures. To be more specific, among the independent duties of registered nurses are to observe symptoms of illnesses, reaction to treatment & general behavior which becomes the basis of an initiation of emergency or medical procedures. Aside from which, a nurse’s dependent functions would include the performance of skin tests, immunization, extraction of human blood & administration of medication. Lastly, among their interdependent function would be to implement appropriate standardized procedures or changes in treatment regimen of a patient after observing signs and symptoms of illnesses or a crucial reaction to treatment (Bailey, L., 2011).
Indeed, having a clear scope of practice for nurses will reduce medical errors especially because they can focus on cultivating their knowledge on specific medical functions instead of performing based on general medical knowledge. Aside from that, it is helpful to have clear drug labels, being familiar with medication storage, & knowledge in proper drug use and monitoring to avoid cases of medical malpractice and errors (American Nurse Today, n.d.).
The Future of Nursing: Focus on Scope of Practice - Institute of Medicine. (n.d.). The Future of Nursing: Focus on Scope of Practice - Institute of Medicine. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from\
Bailey, L. (2011). An Explanation of the Scope of RN Practice Including Standardized Procedures. California, USA: Department of Consumer Affairs.
American Nurse Today. (n.d.). American Nurse Today. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from