Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
Mandatory Fields
Fealy, G,Casey, M,Rohde, D,Brady, AM,Hegarty, J,Kennedy, C,McNamara, M,O'Reilly, P,Prizeman, G
Journal of clinical nursing
Scope of practice decision making: findings from a national survey of Irish nurses and midwives
WOS: 5 ()
Optional Fields
decision making framework Ireland midwifery nursing scope of practice survey CARE
Aims and objectives. The aim was to examine and describe aspects of the current scope of practice among nurses and midwives in Ireland. The objective was to describe practitioners' decision making associated with the scope of practice.Background. Regulatory frameworks on the scope of practice describe the roles and activities an individual registrant is permitted to undertake in the course of professional practice. Research into the scope of practice has examined practitioners' perspectives on particular frameworks or their experiences of practice expansion, and suggests that frameworks are helpful in guiding practitioners; however, local circumstances and practitioner competence often determine scope of practice.Design. A national postal survey of registered nurses and midwives was conducted to elicit self-reports of current scope of practice.Methods. A stratified random sample of 2354 registered nurses and midwives in Ireland were surveyed using the Scope-Q, a 64-item self-report questionnaire.Results. While over half of the respondents consulted others when making scope of practice decisions, the majority relied on their own professional judgement, acted only when they believed that they were competent to act, and recognised the limitations of their own competence. Although a small number of statistically significant associations were observed between respondents' age and self-reported scope of practice, respondents' current scope of practice was independent of either grade or gender.Conclusions. When making a decision about scope of practice, practitioners may consult other resources, including published frameworks, professional colleagues and line managers; however, most particularly, older, more experienced practitioners, rely on their own professional judgement when making scope of practice decisions.Relevance to clinical practice. While published scope of practice frameworks guide practitioners on how they may act in circumstances of uncertainty, regulatory authorities should continue to emphasise individual accountability and self-reliance in everyday decision making, so that practitioners' actions are grounded in local circumstances and self-assessed practitioner competence.
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