Benefits of Nursing Autonomy

By Roberta Heale, Associate Editor EBN @robertaheale

I spent a few days in hospital this past June. Other than the birth of my children, I’d never been hospitalized. Knowing how long and hard shift work is, as well as the pressures put on staff nurses in this day and age, I was apprehensive about what my experience would be like. Turns out, I shouldn’t have worried. The nurses were wonderful, not only in responding to my emotional needs, but also in the assessment and treatment of my physical symptoms. I was reminded how important it is for nurses to work in an environment where they are able to use their expert clinical skill and judgment in the care of patients.

Greater nursing autonomy promotes better patient outcomes. As a reminder for you, check out the commentary Greater nurse autonomy associated with lower mortality and failure to rescue rates. It’s free and can be found at this link:

Nursing is under ongoing pressure in many countries. It’s not uncommon to learn that nursing positions have been reduced and replaced by non-nursing, generic workers, or that nurse-to-patient ratios are climbing. Support of nurses to ensure that their work environment not only allows them autonomy of practice, but also appropriate resources to do their job well, is important. In doing so, you may be helping out a friend or family, or maybe even yourself.

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