Nursing policies & procedures

When a nurse is tested for her license, she is also tested on policies and procedures for nursing. Nursing policies and procedures were developed to protect patient confidentiality and to ensure the patient receives quality health care. They also help a nurse avoid losing her license or facing malpractice suits.

Policy prohibits a nurse from performing any duty she has not been trained to do. Policies and procedures may vary depending on the health care institute and the nurse's training level.

Nursing License

Policy calls for all nurses to receive the required training for his program of study. After the coursework has been completed, clinical hours of training must be completed. Nurses also must pass state board examinations with the required scores for his state. After passing the state board examinations, a nurse will be awarded his nursing license to begin working in his health care field.

Patient Consent

Policy and procedure requires nurses to inform patients about the type of medication or treatment being administered to them. If a patient is allergic to a specific medication, the nurse has the responsibility of finding this out. If a patient gives consent to the treatment, the nurse will have the patient sign a consent form in front of a witness.

Performing Outside of Training

Nursing policy does not allow a nurse to perform a duty or procedure he has not been trained to do. For instance, a licensed practical nurse cannot assist in surgeries with a surgeon as an operating room nurse can. Procedure requires a nurse to summons the help of a higher authority nurse, physician or other medical staff member when he is unable to perform a specific procedure. A malpractice suit could occur if a nurse performs a duty he was not trained to do and the patient suffers as a result.

Patient Confidentiality

Nursing policies require all patient records and medical information to be confidential. A nurse is not permitted to share health records of a patient with anyone other than the authorised physician or medical personnel. Medical records are not to be taken outside of the unit the nurse works in unless otherwise instructed. If a nurse violates this policy, she could lose her license and face a civil suit.

Patient Advocate

A nurse must be an advocate, acting in the best interest of the patient at all times. A nurse cannot make decisions based on his own interest. Also, if a patient's activity or health changes, it is the nurse's responsibility to find the patient's physician or refer the patient to another physician immediately.