The increased use of unlicensed assistive personnel presents both opportunities and challenges for the American health care system. The nurse manager has to deal with the challenge that unlicensed assistive personnel only be used to provide personal care needs or nursing tasks that do not require the skill and judgment of the RN.
1. The nurse manager reviews the national effort to define the scope of practice for unlicensed assistive personnel. In 2007, the American Nurses Association made recommendations for a national and/or state policy for nursing assistive personnel. What are the six actions that should be taken to create a national and/or state policy agenda about the educational preparation of unlicensed assistive personnel and the competencies they should have for safe practice?
2. The need in health care today is for today’s nurses to have highly developed delegation skills in working effectively and efficiently with unlicensed assistive personnel. This is critical to ensure the clients’ needs are met and their safety is not jeopardized. What are the key general principles that the nurse manager needs to review with professional registered nurses in delegating to unlicensed assistive personnel?
Expert Solution Preview
1. The six actions that should be taken to create a national and/or state policy agenda about the educational preparation of unlicensed assistive personnel and the competencies they should have for safe practice are as follows:
a. Establishing educational standards: There should be clear guidelines and requirements for the educational preparation of unlicensed assistive personnel, including minimum education levels, specific courses or training programs, and ongoing professional development.
b. Defining competencies: A comprehensive list of the necessary competencies should be developed to ensure that unlicensed assistive personnel possess the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for safe and effective practice. These competencies should align with the tasks they are allowed to perform.
c. Determining supervision requirements: It is essential to establish appropriate levels of supervision for unlicensed assistive personnel. This includes defining the roles and responsibilities of supervising registered nurses, the frequency and methods of supervision, and the criteria for determining when additional supervision is necessary.
d. Collaborating with stakeholders: Engagement and collaboration with various stakeholders, such as professional nursing organizations, healthcare institutions, and regulatory bodies, is crucial for creating a comprehensive policy agenda. These stakeholders can provide valuable input and expertise.
e. Developing a legal and regulatory framework: The policy agenda should address the legal and regulatory aspects of unlicensed assistive personnel’s practice, including their scope of practice, liability, and disciplinary measures. The aim is to ensure consistency and accountability across different states or regions.
f. Providing resources and support: Adequate resources and support, such as funding for education and training programs, mentoring initiatives, and career development opportunities, should be included in the policy agenda to facilitate the continued growth and professionalization of unlicensed assistive personnel.
By implementing these six actions, a national and/or state policy agenda can be developed to establish standardized educational preparation and competency requirements for unlicensed assistive personnel, ultimately contributing to safe and high-quality patient care.
2. The key general principles that the nurse manager needs to review with professional registered nurses in delegating to unlicensed assistive personnel include:
a. Clear communication: Effective delegation requires clear and concise communication between the registered nurse and the unlicensed assistive personnel. The nurse should provide precise instructions regarding the task to be performed, expected outcomes, and any relevant patient information.
b. Competence assessment: Before delegating a task, the nurse manager should assess the competency of the unlicensed assistive personnel to ensure they have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform it safely. This may involve verifying their educational background, training records, and previous experience.
c. Assignment appropriateness: The nurse manager should evaluate whether the task being delegated is appropriate for unlicensed assistive personnel within their scope of practice. Tasks that require critical thinking, advanced assessment, or decision-making skills should be reserved for licensed professionals.
d. Supervision and oversight: Even though unlicensed assistive personnel are delegated tasks, it’s important for registered nurses to provide ongoing supervision and oversight. This involves regular check-ins, monitoring the progress, and providing guidance or clarification if needed.
e. Feedback and evaluation: The nurse manager should establish a system for providing feedback and evaluating the performance of unlicensed assistive personnel. This allows for continuous improvement, recognition of strengths, and identification of areas requiring additional training or development.
f. Legal and ethical considerations: Registered nurses should be familiar with the laws, regulations, and ethical guidelines regarding delegation within their jurisdiction. They should ensure that delegation practices adhere to these standards and avoid compromising patient safety or violating professional codes of conduct.
By adhering to these key principles, nurse managers can promote effective and safe delegation practices, which contribute to the overall quality of patient care and the utilization of unlicensed assistive personnel in a responsible manner.