Professional Accountability in Nursing

Nursing is held to high standards compared to other professions because of the interpersonal relationship between nurses and patients. It is also the most trusted profession in demonstrating the significance of accountability. Therefore, regarding the nursing career, the caregivers are responsible for their nursing actions, judgments, and omissions (Griffith & Tengnah, 2020). As a nurse upholding competency, securing patient care outcomes and professional requirements while being answerable to one’s actions and decisions in health care is crucial (Davis, 2017). This essay defines professional responsibility in nursing and presents evidence of how a caregiver exhibits it in patient care, clinical reasoning, and evidence-based care.

One can best understand nursing practice accountability by looking at its various aspects. Firstly, professional responsibility requires nurses to be accountable to patients, health promotion, health education, and counseling while also ensuring that all other personnel answerable for their actions (Griffith & Tengnah, 2020). Secondly, care providers ought to endeavor within the frame of practice, accepting and following all ethics of conduct to uphold clients’ confidence in both the staff and the nursing field. Societal accountability describes nurses’ responsibility to the entire public as it is responsible for funding the health care system, including the patients (Sherman & Cohn, 2019). Thirdly, it is about legal accountability, where nurses ought to practice while complying with the relevant bodies’ rules and regulations.

Thus, breaching legal accountability leads to sanctions such as fees and imprisonment. Fourthly, it concerns employment accountability, where nurses are accountable for their employer to strictly discharge responsibilities and duties as per the employment contract (Griffith & Tengnah, 2020). Fifthly, it is about how caregivers can achieve accountability with autonomy. This is the ability of a nurse to make independent decisions within the practice, authority, and duty to act as per the standard requirements of the profession. An example of a nurse’s professional accountability in clinical expertise is ensuring a blood transfusion process is correctly executed right from making an order, getting consent, and blood verification by licensed professionals (Chesterton et al., 2021). In the nursing process, a perfect illustration could be adopting safer practices. For instance, a clinician educates a patient after a transfusion on the signs and symptoms resulting from the process (Davis, 2017). Additionally, an example in the evidence-based practice can be a care provider’s continued learning on ethical issues while keeping up to date with all the nursing practices.


Chesterton, L., Tetley, J., Cox, N., & Jack, K. (2021). A hermeneutical study of professional accountability in nursing. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 30(1-2), 188-199. Web.

Davis, C. (2017). The importance of professional accountability. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy!, 15(6), 4. Web.

Griffith, R., & Tengnah, C. (2020). Law and professional issues in nursing (5th ed.). Sage.

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