Nursing Competence

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Nursing Competence


Nurses are important in providing high quality care in hospitals and other health care settings. In Australia, various health care agencies have provided guidelines and standard for professional competencies and the role of a registered nurse practioner in providing high. quality care in all healthcare settings. The paper describes what professional competence means? In addition, the characteristics of professionally competent nurse and how an experienced practitioner meets the competency standards for the advanced registered nurse. It explains how these standards are the realistic reflection of an advanced registered nurse requirements.

Nursing Competence


A nurse practitioner is a person authorised and educated to work independently in an advanced clinical role. The registered nurse practitioner assesses and manages clients using nursing skills and makes referral to other health care professionals if required, orders investigations and prescribes medications. Their role is based in the nursing profession's conduct and provides quality health care to patients and collaborates with other health care providers (Chinn, 2004).

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council and Australian Nursing Federations has provided competency standards for professional competence and the qualities of 'Professionally competent nurse'. The following paper describes these characteristics according to the guidelines provided by these two agencies.


The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council and Australian Nursing Federations have described the detailed explanation of professional competence and Professionally competent nurse as follows:

Professional Competence

Nursing practice is a medical related practice that involves application of high-level skills and knowledge in health care practice across ono- complex and complex conditions. Professionally competent practice has several components; its main component is clinical practice skills, which focuses on a specific population or any specialty practice. Key components of professional practice are the ability of nurse practitioner and physical assessment. This assessment is based on knowledge of human sciences and pathophysiology (ANMC, 2004)This practice involves the ability to order investigations and to prescribe medications according to assessment information (ANMC, 2004)

Professionally competent practice is enhanced by advanced professional skills.

It describes the level, skills and knowledge, and the method to use this knowledge. It defines the sense of professional authority, which helps in delivering advanced skills according to patient/client requirements and delivering them from knowledge of nursing practice. The nurses are identified as professional nurses and their identity demonstrates the nature of their practice. The professional competence involves reasoning to provide evidence and quality care to the patients in vast contexts and achieving this by making a climate of trust and understanding to patients, customers, and communities. They recognise nursing autonomy and provide referrals as appropriate, its main component is the ability to give respect to patients to provide health care for illness episode, ensuring that patients have accurate information to base their decisions (ANMC, 2004)

Professionally competent practice means that the nurse practitioner should involve as a senior member of any health care team. For this nurse practitioner should understand their own accountability and work in collaboration with other clinicians to provide the best care for patients or clients (Bryant-Lukosius & DiCenso, 2004).

Professionally competent practice influences clinical care and ...
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