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Contemporary Nursing Practice

Contemporary Nursing Practice

Sample Answer 

Contemporary Nursing Practice


There is no question that nursing practice has completely changed within the last few decades, especially with the scope of practice now advancing to unprecedented heights. There has also been a recent debate on the important role advanced education and training play in improving healthcare outcomes. According to Salmond & Echevarria (2017), nurses have the option to advance their education and skills by pursuing higher courses, such as the Associate Degree in Nursing (AND) or Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing (BSN). There has also been a significant shift towards evidence-based practice as a means of improving patient safety and outcomes. Finally, nurses have been in recent times, obliged to work and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams. All these aspects are discussed in this review.

  1. Nursing Practice Changes and Impact on the Scope of Practice and Approach to Treating an Individual

Arguably, nursing practice has evolved incredibly over the years, with this change even transforming immensely the scope of practice and the approach to treatment procedures. According to Salmond & Echevarria (2017), some of the primary factors pushing this extraordinary and inevitable change include health disparities, sub-optional outcomes, unsustainable costs, access issues, as well as fragmentation. Introducing new and advanced nursing education programs in college is one of the major ways stakeholders address these burgeoning problems, particularly to improve patient outcomes, reduce cost, and boost quality. Unlike in the past, nurses today have the option to expand their knowledge, skillset, and resume by enrolling in Baccalaureate Education, Accelerated Programs, Master’s Education, DNP, or Ph.D. Education. This expanded nursing education option has also profoundly impacted the scope of practice. For example, the new changes have broadened the career options for bachelor of nursing degree holders, whereby they can opt to work as a registered nurse (RN) or specialize as emergency room nurses, ICU nurses, research nurses, nurse case managers, school nurses, charge nurses, or operating room nurses (Spetz & Bates, 2013). These new changes also mean that nurses are today trained to offer tailored services for individual health issues. For example, an ICU nurse is trained to offer specific care for patients in the intensive care unit.

  1. Comparison between Associate and Baccalaureate Nursing Education

With the new changes in practice, educators have separated the competencies between an ADN and BSN. For example, an ADN is expected to possess effective communication, professional behavior, assessment expertise, clinical decision-making, care management, collaboration, teaching, and learning, as well as the ability to carry out interventions. On the other hand, the competencies of a BSN range from supervising ability, research skills, bioinformatics knowledge, professionalism, patient care advocacy, providing nursing care interventions, collaboration skills, and effective communication. It is also important to note that the scope of practice has significantly changed between an associate and baccalaureate nurse. For instance, whereas a BSN nurse is a patient safety advocate, member of the care team, healthcare provider, researcher, information manager, and professional, an ADN nurse is restricted to only observing and reporting the conditions of patients, keeping records, as well as running diagnostic tests and analyzing the outcomes.

  1. Decision-making Difference between an ADN and BSN-prepared Nurse for Diabetes Care

Undoubtedly, because BSN nurses are highly trained than AND nurses, there is a significant difference in how the two can care for or make decisions when asked to care for a patient suffering from complex diabetes type-2. Most importantly, as a researcher, a BSN nurse might tend to use evidence-based practices and current interventions in diagnosing and caring for the patient. For example, he/she might use Zhang, Baxter, Burridge, and Donald’s (2013) integrated primary-secondary care model to treat complex diabetes. However, an ADN nurse might just opt for conventional insulin injections.

  1. The Significance of Applying EBP to Nursing and How RN-BSN Academic Preparation Supports

One of the few changes in nursing practice in recent years has been the introduction and overreliance in evidence-based practices, whether in diagnosis, treatment, interventions, or prevention. The essence of using evidence‐based practice to nursing care is that it allows the application of valid, empirically tested, and accurate practices in nursing. Usually, most of the evidence is rigorously tested using scientific methods, with most of the steps used in collecting this evidence being reviewable and retractable (Zimmerman, Shier, & Saliba, 2014). In fact, today, EBP knowledge is used in the academic preparation of RN and BSN nurses. Because new health issues and techniques are developed each year, using EBP in teaching ensures that all RN and BSN nurses possess the most recent practices that are accurate and up-to-date.

  1. Communication between Nurses and Interdisciplinary Teams and the Benefits

Another major feature in contemporary nursing practice is the increase in collaboration and communication between nurses and interdisciplinary teams, including pharmacists, laboratory technicians, physicians, and others. Today, nurses communicate with their colleagues from other disciplines through seminars, meetings, videoconferences, inwards, and other avenues. They collaborate with these interdisciplinary teams by ensuring that all members perform their separate duties but work in unison towards improving patient health outcomes. For example, it is their responsibility to ensure that patient laboratory tests or checks are run smoothly, and the results reflect the conditions of the patient. They also have to ensure that the pharmacists offer the correct medication.


Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 3691), 12-25.

Spetz, J., & Bates, T. (2013). Is a baccalaureate in nursing worth it? The return to education, 2000-2008. Health Services Research, 48(1), 1859-1878.

Zhang, J., Baxter, K. A., Burridge, L., & Donald, M. (2013). A new model of integrated primary-secondary care for complex diabetes in the community: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 14(1), 382.

Zimmerman, S., Shier, V., & Saliba, D. (2014). Transforming nursing home culture: evidence for practice policy. The Gerontologist,54(1), 1-5.


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Contemporary Nursing Practice

The field of nursing has changed over time. In a 750‐1,000 word paper, discuss nursing practice today by addressing the following:

  • Explain how nursing practice has changed over time and how this evolution has changed the scope of practice and the approach to treating the individual.
  • Compare and contrast the differentiated practice competencies between an associate and baccalaureate education in nursing.
  • Explain how scope of practice changes between an associate and baccalaureate nurse.
  • Identify a patient care situation and describe how nursing care, or approaches to decision‐making, differ between the BSN‐prepared nurse and the ADN nurse.
  • Discuss the significance of applying evidence‐based practice to nursing care and explain how the academic preparation of the RN‐BSN nurse supports its application.
  • Discuss how nurses today communicate and collaborate with interdisciplinary teams and how this supports safer and more effective patient outcomes.
  • Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.

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Discussion – Ethics and Professionalism

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