Registered Nurse Job Description

Subject: Nursing
Pages: 7
Words: 1712
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: Master

Basic Duties of a Nurse

A registered nurse (RN) is responsible for treating patients, providing advice, and emotional support to them and their relatives. Education is also an essential part of the job as RNs are expected to inform their patients, their families, and the general public about medical conditions that create the burden of disease for the population. Depending on the specialty, nurses can operate in various settings, such as pediatrics or critical care. Some RNs can work in multiple specialties or provide both primary and specialty care to their patients.

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While the tasks that nurses perform in the workplace may vary, there is a basic framework of duties and responsibilities that are likely to take place. RNs implement the orders of physicians, administer medication to a patient, perform treatments and special tests. They are also responsible for documenting the progress of treatment as required by the policy of their healthcare facility as well as state or federal regulations. RNs will also contribute to ordering, interpreting, and evaluating patients’ diagnostic tests for assessing their condition. Nurses are expected to use sound judgment in the context of patient care management decisions to ensure that patients receive the care that responds to core health needs.

Registered nurses often represent the critical monitor of their patient’s health. They will collaborate with other nurses as well as members of an interdisciplinary team to create an effective plan of care based on the assessment of health records, the symptoms that patients are experiencing, as well as their reactions to care and treatment. Furthermore, RNs are the ones who will have the most frequent interactions with patients’ families and may guide them toward appropriate procedures in regards to aftercare. The duties of RNs will usually depend on the setting in which they work as well as the specific needs of particular patients for which they care.

Unlicensed Assistive personnel Job Description

While registered nurses are seen as primary nursing caregivers, unlicensed assistive personnel (UAP) can offer an essential contribution to the healthcare team under the direction of professional RNs responsible for care coordination. Therefore, UAPs will provide supportive care within the activities delegated by RNs. Unlicensed assistive personnel include nurse aides, assistants, technicians, attendants, and other members of support staff that can operate under the guidance of nurses and in compliance with the act that guides the nursing practice act within the state in which they work.

Nurses will delegate some tasks and activities to UAPs that do not require specialized knowledge, judgment, or skill. Therefore, UAPs will not conduct initial patient assessments to identify appropriate plans for treatment. Nor will they evaluate the progress of patients or the lack of progress in the plan of care developed for a particular patient. The tasks that will be assigned to UAPs by nurses are likely the ones that do not imply using professional judgment. Such tasks are usually considered routine for patients, pose little potential risks, do not involve any substantial modification in care from one patient to another, and can be carried out with a fixed outcome. Also, UAPs will perform the tasks that do not involve ongoing assessments, interpretations, or significant decision-making that cannot be logically isolated from the task itself.

Examples of tasks that UAPs can do in a healthcare setting include simple dressing changes, clean catheterization, or establishing gastrostomy feeding. It is essential to note that UAPs may not re-delegate the tasks that have been assigned to them. The activities of workers operating under the job title of UAP will be inevitably guided by registered nurses who are required to have the education and training on how to delegate the responsibilities to other staff members. Moreover, nurses should have an opportunity to conduct periodic assessments on the effectiveness of UAPs in performing specialized tasks.

Evaluation Forms

Registered Nurse Evaluation

Name_______________________________________________________________

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Evaluation period______________________________________________________

Date of evaluation_______________ Title of evaluation: 360 performance review____

  • Performance factors:
Implementing physicians’ orders – the effectiveness of the RN in handling the assigned tasks and responsibilities. Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Unsatisfactory
N/A
Documenting the progress of a treatment – the effectiveness of the RN in monitoring the progress of a treatment and documenting it accordingly. Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Unsatisfactory
N/A
Patient communication – the extent to which the RN communicates with patients in helping them understand and adhere to a plan of treatment. Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Unsatisfactory
N/A
Diagnostic test management – ordering, interpreting, and evaluating patients’ diagnostic tests for assessing their condition. Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Unsatisfactory
N/A
Sound judgment and decision-making skills – making appropriate treatment choices to ensure that patients receive the care that responds to core health needs. Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Unsatisfactory
N/A
Collaboration – work with other members of the healthcare team to create an effective plan of care based on patient assessments. Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Unsatisfactory
N/A
Interactions – establishing good relationships with patients’ families and guiding them toward appropriate procedures in regards to aftercare. Exceeds expectations
Meets expectations
Below expectations
Unsatisfactory
N/A
  • Performance strengths and accomplishments: ________________________________
  • Plan of action to improve performance: _____________________________________

Unlicensed Assistive Personnel Evaluation

Name_______________________________________________________________

Evaluation period______________________________________________________

Date of evaluation_______________ Title of evaluation: peer review_____________

  • Performance domains:
Domain: working under the direction of registered nurses.
Excellent compliance with nurses’ directions and assignments. Good compliance with nurses’ directions and assignments. Satisfactory compliance with nurses’ directions and assignments. Lack of compliance with nurses’ directions and assignments.
Domain: using knowledge and skills to ensure treatment maintenance and adherence.
Excellent knowledge and skills for ensuring treatment maintenance. Good knowledge and skills for ensuring treatment maintenance. Satisfactory knowledge and skills for ensuring treatment maintenance. Low degrees of knowledge and skills for ensuring treatment maintenance.
Domain: performing the assigned tasks without reassigning them to other personnel.
Showing the highest performance of assigned tasks, no reassignments of responsibilities to other personnel. No reassignments of tasks, good performance of assigned responsibilities. Satisfactory level of task performance, some reassignments of responsibilities to other personnel. Not performing tasks, continuous reassignments of responsibilities to other personnel.
Domain: collaborating with RN to ensure care maintenance.
Excellent levels of collaboration, inability to seek help and ask relevant questions. Good levels of collaboration, inability to seek help and ask relevant questions. Satisfactory levels of collaboration, inability to seek help and ask relevant questions. Low levels of collaboration, inability to seek help and ask relevant questions.
  • Performance strengths and accomplishments: ________________________________
  • Plan of action to improve performance: _____________________________________

Plan for a Healthy Work Environment

While nurses and other healthcare personnel care for their patients on a regular basis, it is essential to ensure that they are also cared for to boot their motivation and workplace satisfaction. A supportive and healthy work environment is a key factor in developing positive recruitment and retention practices of the nursing faculty. Difficult work conditions have shown to contribute to shortages in nursing staff. At the same time, supportive environments represent a place where workers feel supported, valued, and encouraged to develop both personally and professionally (Walls, Hockberger, & Gausche-Hill, 2017). Because of this, it is imperative to have a cohesive plan for establishing a positive work environment that will facilitate the effectiveness of nurses in the workplace.

The first step in the plan is concerned with the fair distribution of salaries and benefits to personnel. The value-based purchasing approach can become a new payment model that offers financial incentives to healthcare providers for meeting specific performance measures. The model supports the provision of quality care and underlines the importance of positive clinical outcomes such as good blood pressure, patient counseling, measures to help patients to stop smoking, as well as other aspects targeted at the general improvement of health. Value-based purchasing can be integrated into the plan of sustainable healthcare environments because it makes providers accountable for both the cost and the quality of care they offer in the attempt to reduce the implementation of inappropriate care and rewarding providers who show positive outcomes in care.

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The second step is to distribute the workload among healthcare providers fairly. This point is explained by the research findings showing that healthcare personnel who works more than fifty hours per week and during night shifts is more likely to experience workplace stress and show poor performance in terms of care quality (Birhanu, Gebrekidan, Tesefa, & Tareke, 2018). In order to develop a work schedule that would be acceptable for nurses in the given healthcare setting, it is imperative to involve the end-users into planning. Therefore, nursing managers who are usually responsible for developing schedules should collaborate with the nurses and distribute the workload accordingly. It is also necessary to ensure that nurses who can take more shifts are given more opportunities to work and earn more according to the value-based purchasing approach. A nursing workload intensity management system can also be integrated to align nurses’ activities with the different levels of diagnosis intensity and the time necessary to care for each patient (van den Oetelaar, van Stel, van Rhenen, Stellato, & Grolman, 2016). Depending on the number of patients that need to be cared for, it is possible to make a forecast of the required nursing workload and the number of professionals that should be present during a specific shift.

The third step is ensuring the ongoing professional development of nurses to ensure that they can adapt to the new developments in care and can meet the continuously changing demands of the modern healthcare system. Nursing professional development specialists can be hired to help the facility to establish a framework for outlining the critical steps in personnel development. It is imperative to remove scope-of-practice barriers to ensure that the developed policies expand the scope of practice as related to the competencies aligned with the level of nurses’ preparation.

Establishing effective leadership that would advocate the creation of a positive workplace is the final step in the plan. Having an effective leader means that there will be a person advocating for the needs of nurses and working towards meeting those needs. Connections between the role of leadership and work environments have been traced in multiple studies, which is why the plan for the improvement and sustainability should engage a leader who is knowledgeable in the area of not only managing staff but also bringing them together in the effort of boosting their performance.

References

Birhanu, M., Gebrekidan, B., Tesefa, G., & Tareke, M. (2018). Workload determines workplace stress among health professionals working in Felege-Hiwot referral hospital, Bahir Dar, Northwest Ethiopia. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2018, 6286010. Web.

van den Oetelaar, W., van Stel, H., van Rhenen, W., Stellato, R., & Grolman, W. (2016). Balancing nurses’ workload in hospital wards: Study protocol of developing a method to managing workload. BMJ Open, 6, e012148. Web.

Walls, R., Hockberger, R., & Gausche-Hill, M. (2018). Rosen’s emergency medicine. Concepts and clinical practice. Elsevier.