Nursing: A Definition Of Professional Autonomy In Nursing

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9. PROFESSIONAL AUTONOMY IN NURSING Nursing has come a long way from being the hand maidens of the physician to having control over nursing knowledge and practice. It now has two essential ingredients of accountability and autonomy. There is more demand from the nurses now than in the past when all they were expected to do was just to provide comfort and care. They were just meant to assist the physician during treatment, assist in the patients personal hygiene administer medication that is prescribed by the physician and dress wounds. These were just things that any woman could do. Nursing demands much more now as they are educators, client advocate, and managers. More so it is a requisite for any field of endeavour to attain professional status, it is actually an attribute of a profession. Professional Autonomy in Nursing refers to the ability of the nurse to act based on her knowledge and judgement. Ensuring the provision of care is within the ambit of the profession. Using their expertise in delivering quality nursing care. They have the authority to take and make decisions based on professional regulations and knowledge in patient care .However autonomy does not come with inaction but comes with competence in knowledge and skills. Being courageous enough to take charge and responsibility when situations demand for it in clinical practice. Professional autonomy in nursing could be independent or interdependent in which decisions or judgement is taken based on

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