What is an Independent Nursing Practice

What is Independent Nursing Practice?

How would you like to hang at your gate or window a sign bearing your name and the words “Independent Nursing Practitioner?” As the term implies, “independent” means the nurse is self-employed and provides professional nursing services to clients/parents and their families. While some independent nursing practitioners set up their clinics near a hospital, most of them are community-based. These nurses reach out and offer theirs services rather than expect clients to seek their help. They perform both independent and collaborative roles. Health care assessment, formulating plans for health maintenance, prevention strategies, continuation of supportive activities in critical and complex health problems are all within the scope of nursing practice. They make referrals and collaborate with physicians and other disciplines as needed by the client or family.

Independent nurse practitioners are accountable for their decisions. Whether their role is independent or collaborative, it is based on the fact that each health care discipline offers an area of knowledge and expertise. Collaborative work is needed for effective, efficient, and economical care. It is essential therefore that independent nurse practitioners acquire working knowledge of the skills and expertise of other health workers.

The growing interest in independent nursing practice is expected to very much contribute to the improvement of the existing health care delivery system. It is time that we asses our own resources to explore this new field of practice. But the initial preparation for this kind of practice should have been incorporated first in nursing programs before nurses can assume the role effectively.

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