New guideline explores professionalism in nursing



    TORONTO, March 28 /CNW/ - Nurses have been working as health-care
professionals in Ontario for more than 100 years. Now, for the first time, a
guideline has been developed to enable nurses to evaluate their professional
behaviour and identify areas where they and the organizations they work for
can improve.
    "Professionalism in Nursing", RNAO's newest guideline, will be officially
launched at the Nursing Leadership Network of Ontario's annual conference
being held at the Westin Prince Hotel in Toronto on Thursday, March 29 and
Friday, March 30.
    "In order to be a competent, professional nurse, you need to have
up-to-date knowledge, you need to see yourself as a both a team player and an
autonomous practitioner, and you need to embrace innovation," explains
Irmajean Bajnok, Director of the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario's
(RNAO) Centre for Professional Nursing Excellence and lead for the Healthy
Work Environments Best Practice Guidelines Program. Bajnok says the other
attributes of a professional nurse are: accountability, ethical behaviour,
collaboration and collegiality. She anticipates an enthusiastic response from
nurses.
    "We had 120 stakeholders review the guideline and the nurses involved
were very passionate about the subject matter. In any of the forums where this
guideline has been discussed, it's been standing room only," says Bajnok.
    Andrea Baumann, the Director of the Nursing Health Services Research Unit
at McMaster University, is the chair of the committee that developed the
guideline. She says the guideline will resonate with nurses because it
addresses issues they're struggling with on a daily basis. "The guideline will
give practicing nurses insight into issues on professionalism and an
opportunity to reflect on how their work environment supports or does not
support professional practice," says Baumann.
    One of those issues is a nurse's need to make independent decisions
regarding patient care. The guideline encourages nurses to think critically
and to regularly evaluate the decisions made as individuals and teams. "Nurses
have a great role to play in areas like pain management, health promotion,
preventing falls, wound care, chronic disease management and discharge
planning. They have the autonomy to carry out interventions related to those
areas and, in fact, they should exercise that autonomy," says Bajnok.
    In addition to exploring the attributes of professionalism, the guideline
reinforces the role that nurses play in influencing positive health outcomes
for their patients. "Achieving positive health outcomes for patients is the
essence of professional nursing. Nurses in all roles need to know that the
work they do is highly valued. The guideline will give them support and
direction about how to live professionalism on a day to day basis. It is also
a way to help nurses refresh," says Bajnok.
    Like the other five guidelines in RNAO's series of Best Practice
Guidelines on Healthy Work Environments, "Professionalism in Nursing" is
designed to provide the best available evidence to support the creation of
thriving work environments for nurses.

    
    WHAT:  Launch of the "Professionalism in Nursing" Healthy Work
           Environment Best Practice Guideline at the Nursing Leadership
           Network of Ontario's annual conference

    WHERE: The Westin Prince Hotel, 900 York Mills Road, Toronto

    WHEN:  8:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Thursday, March 29
           8:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., Friday, March 30

    WHO:   Nursing leaders from across Ontario

    (*) The official launch of "Professionalism in Nursing" will take place
        on Thursday, March 29 from 3:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. during the poster
        session and reception.
    

    The Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO) is the professional
association representing registered nurses wherever they practice in Ontario.
Since 1925, RNAO has lobbied for healthy public policy, promoted excellence in
nursing practice, increased nurses' contribution to shaping the health-care
system, and influenced decisions that affect nurses and the public they serve.




For further information:

For further information: Jill-Marie Burke, Media Relations Coordinator,
Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario, Phone: (416) 408-5606, Cell: (647)
504-4008, Toll-free: 1-800-268-7199 ext.250, E-mail: jburke@rnao.org


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