The concept of professional accountability as it pertains to nursing.

 e: Topic 4 DQ 2

In their report of code of ethics (2015), the American Nurses Association defines accountability as taking self-responsibility for our actions. As nurses, we have a great responsibility to patients, peers, and ourselves all the time. Nurses that hold an RN licensed are accountable and obligated to maintain the highest ethics, transparency, and morals when caring for patients. The Nursing Practice Act and the law mandate and outlines nursing practice responsibilities. The scope of regulations in the California Nursing Practice Act clarifies nursing practice (NPA sec. 2527-2542). Nursing practice is a privilege that needs honesty, dignity, and appreciation. Nurses must be knowledgeable of updated policies and protocols of patient care, empathetic to patients and their families, flexible, and most importantly, truthful. Patients trust nurses with their lives.

We are humans and make mistakes, no doubt about that. But not taking the responsibility and correct or improve our practice is not only unethical but criminal. The one example in my nursing practice that I will never forget was a new grad. I dropped a pill on the floor and quickly picked it up; no one saw it, only me; I was in a hurry since I had more things to do. I could have given that medication, no one knew I dropped it, but for a second, I thought that if I could be dishonest with myself, how can I expect to be honest with others. I have never forgotten that experience. I threw it away and went to get a new one. Honesty, respect, and accountability define us not only as nurses but as human beings.

Working at the bedside can become overwhelming, and the more we do it, the better we develop a way of improving time management. Therefore, w a new policy is not welcomed since nurses must get used to a new practice. However, these changes are not to make us nurses angry or make us work harder. New Evidenced-based practice policies are created to help the patient heal or prevent them from getting sicker, so being flexible and understanding new guidelines and how they benefit the patient is another way of taking self-accountability. Healthcare facilities have the responsibility to educate and promote accountability. According to (Sherman, 2019), nurses develop a practice and mindset that prevents them from following new EBP; her article explains how nurses may refuse to follow new policies when they feel their approach is appropriate and can be, that does not mean it is a professional way of practicing and that is why EBP policies and procedures are in place. Flexibility to adapt and understand changes is part of the nursing practice and an obligation; not following the facility of practice’s policies and procedures is a crime.


American Nurses Association (2015) Code of ethics for nurses with interpretive statements (second ed) ANA, page41.

Sherman, R. O., & Cohn, T. M. (2019). Promoting professional accountability and ownership: Nursing leaders set the tone for a culture of professional responsibility. American Nurse Today, 14(2), 24–26.

California Nursing Practice Act (n.d.) regulations of nursing practice.

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