Nursing is not just a collection of tasks. To provide safe and effective care to the clients, nurses must integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes to make sound judgement and decisions. This essay describes some of the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes of nursing and discusses why they are essential attributes of a competent nurse.
Nursing knowledge and clinical skills
These are obvious essentials for nursing practice. Nurses are required to perform many clinical tasks, for instance physical assessments and injections, which require competent clinical skills to ensure safe outcomes for patients. A broad base of nursing knowledge including physiology, …show more content…
Patients expect nurses to be compassionate and compassion is one of the main criteria patients evaluate the quality of nursing practice (Graber & Mitcham, 2004). Respect is another essential attitude. Nurses are required to practise “in a way that acknowledges the dignity, culture, values, beliefs and rights of individuals/groups” (ANMC, 2006). To deliver effective and non-discriminatory nursing care to clients, it is essential that nurses recognise and respect diversities in culture, values, beliefs, thinking, opinions and lifestyles (Ervin, 2005), and clients’ right to privacy, confidentiality and dignity.
All of the above are important knowledge, skills and attitudes that a nurse should possess. They are like bricks in a foundation. A wall will fall if a brick in its foundation is missing. A professional nurse must integrate these essential knowledge, skills and attitudes to deliver holistic care to the clients.
Australian Nursing & Midwifery Council (ANMC). (2006). National Competency Standards for the Registered Nurse (4th edn.). Retrieved April 4, 2008, from http://www.anmc.org.au/docs/Competency_standards_RN.pdf
Brunt, B. A. (2005). Models, measurement, and strategies in developing critical-thinking skills. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 36 (6), 255-62. Retrieved April 6, 2008, from CINAHL database.
Bryant, H. (2007). Board's eye view. The need to treat patients with