Professional Accountability in Nursing

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 1
Words: 277
Reading time:
< 1 min
Study level: College

Nursing is one of the most demanding and responsible professions in the world. This work and practice are directly related to the safety and well-being of the patient. Therefore, the term professional accountability is used to describe a nurse’s state of being accountable for one’s actions (Davis, 2017). Being held to high standards of ethics and clinical expertise allows nursing to be the most trustworthy profession. An example of professional accountability in clinical practice is undertaking procedures based on one’s professional expertise. Having been licensed as an expert, a nurse can utilize their knowledge and skills to ensure positive outcomes of patient treatment within appropriate safety measures. Working outside of one’s field or extent of knowledge puts everyone at risk, including this employee, co-workers, a healthcare facility, and, most importantly, patients. Recognizing and being honest about one’s ability or inability to perform clinically in a specific situation demonstrates professional accountability.

An example of professional accountability in the nursing process is staying abreast of the ever-changing medical field. With new diseases and treatments being discovered, healthcare providers should make sure to be aware of and adapt to any such changes. For this purpose, a nurse can take educational courses, read related journals, attend conventions, or browse corresponding social media. Additionally, exhibiting professionalism and high-ranking expertise is impossible without being ready to accept correction, feedback, and instruction from nursing leaders. Lastly, demonstrating professional accountability in evidence-based practice requires critical thinking and thorough analysis. Staying vigilant of any possible risks and side effects associated with patient care is essential in nursing. Responsibly applying evidence-based practice requires recognizing and researching knowledge gaps, carefully formulating patient questionnaires, and involving patients in decision-making.


Davis, C. (2017). The importance of professional accountability. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy, 15(6), 4. doi: 10.1097/01.NME.0000452691.04516.96