Challenges Facing Participating of Nurses in Healthcare Decision-Making


Task: Essay
Length: 2000 words
Details of the task
Essay topic: Nurses are generally seen as having much less authority than doctors in the decision-making process related to patient care. Discuss the challenges and provide solutions for nurses to be accepted as equal partners in an interprofessional team.
You will need to:
1. Address the question in full, engage in critical analysis of the issues, and supporte arguments by the relevant and high quality literature. You are required to present a well-written paper, with logically organised discussion points, clear grammar and accurate spelling. Please refer to the marking guide criteria provided for you in VU Collaborate, in the Assessment Information folder.
In-text citations and a full reference list (APA 6th format) are required.
You are expected to have completed all the readings and learning activities set up for you in this unit up to week 10 and search VU databases for the relevant literature. You will need to review week 3 Literacy lecture and access the following website that will guide you with your essay writing:
Assessment Criteria and Submission
Please read the RUBRIC set up for this assessment task carefully. These are the criteria that you will be assessed against for this task. It is important that you read and understand the rubric before you attempt to write this essay. Understanding the criteria written in this rubric will help you clarify what we are looking for in this assessment.
This is an essay (not a summary) and you are required to present it as a high standard academic essay, with an introduction, logically linked and well organised paragraphs, and a conclusion. The essay must be written in 3rd person. Evidence is required that a wide range of relevant, high quality, credible literature has been chosen to support arguments.
Formatting and submission requirements: as per assignment 1 (above). Please observe the assignment word limit as word count that exceeds or is below the word limit may attract a penalty. A 10% word count outside of the specified word limit is generally accepted however, you will be penalised at the rate of 5 marks for every further 10% outside the limit.
Once you submit your essay into the Assessment 2 dropbox, you will be able to see Originality Report (via Turnitin), which you can use to improve your essay. You will be able to submit multiple files per submission and submit your files more than once.


According to Forbes, Bott, & Taunton (2013), it is expected that nurses, doctors, and other clinicians cooperate for the mutual benefit of achieving effective delivery of health care. However, several factors are attributed to the lack of autonomy of nurses that limit their participation in delivering effective care. There is no cooperation between the involved parties in delivering medical care, which is evident from the increasing number of medical and surgical errors. Decision making is one of the fields that has been affected the most in regards to the lack of cooperation between medical and nursing fields. Despite the two field being different, they both have a common goal of delivering quality and effective care to the patients.

The contemporary health system has been devolved such that there are several disciplines, and the effective delivery of the whole system is dependent on the ability of the various disciplines to produce complimentary work. Nursing remains to be the most important healthcare discipline, because they are in close contact and association with the patients. It is important for nurses to have autonomy and authority in participating in the decision making, regarding patient care. The lack of autonomy in nursing practice in issues related to decision­-making is a product of several factors that include practice scope boundary between nurses and medics. The other challenges include lack of autonomy policy, negative perception and mistrust that nurses do not have sufficient knowledge and skill to participate in discussion about critical issues in the medicine realm.

Lack of Universal Nursing Autonomy Policy

The present day situation is characterized by the unequal participation of the relevant disciplines in making decisions regarding the type of care to be accorded to patients. There have been numerous occasions where APNs are being marked as extenders and mid-level (Traynor, Boland, & Buus, 2010). As a result, there have been calls for the adoption and implementation of a nursing autonomy policy. The perceived advantage of autonomy policy is that it will expand their role in decision making and participation in healthcare. The proposal includes the inclusion of nurses in clinical practice, decision making and medicine prescription under the close supervision of Nursing and Prescription Authority Board. The explanation behind the decision-making autonomy is to advocate for the need to augment the nursing participation and involvement as reflected in the modern developing roles (Anthony, 2012). The challenge that affects the participation of nurses in decision-making is due to the lack of appropriate nursing autonomy policy.

The demonstration of enlarging nursing extension is imperative to make use of their dynamic information that has come about because of the ever evolving nature and complexity of diseases. Nurses, as the attendant professionals have conveyed noteworthy changes to the lives of patients, and there is a need to increase their autonomy to encourage the application of their knowledge and skills in shaping the decisions that are made in the medical delivery system. The approach entails upgrading basic autonomous leadership, rather than the conventional dependence of doctors to settle on every single restorative choice and the nursing to carry out the pill roles (Schutzenhofer & Musser, 2006). The authority and autonomy policy has restricted the application of nursing critical-thinking skills. In global perspective, the lack of effective policies has limited them to pill-pushing roles of nurses.  There is a need for a policy arrangement that is dependent on increasing the participation of nurses beyond attending the patients to more critical areas such as medical prescription and increasing decision-making authority. According to Krairiksh and Anthony (2013), one of the advantages of increasing the role of nurses in making decisions will increase their competence in other areas other than basic nursing. The lack of autonomy in decision making has remained the biggest challenge that imped the participation of nurses in critical medical operation such as Need-For-Resuscitations decisions. The suggestion by Stewart, Stansfield, and Tapp (2010) indicate that there exists a positive link between the autonomy accorded to nurses and their job satisfaction, turnover, and retention rates…

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