There is a well-defined scope of practice for each category of nurses in Australia. The role of enrolled nurses has been observed to be expanding in many healthcare facilities and practice settings. One of the most important roles is now being given only to enrolled nurses and that is medication administration. Since this is one crucial aspect of treatment, these enrolled nurses are expected to hold some sort of certification or educational degree to handle this role effectively.
Expanding scope of enrolled nurses involves supervision of all nursing activities and delegation of different roles to nurses. Many healthcare facilities in Australia have moved one step ahead to define some policies and guidelines that govern the role of enrolled nurses and clearly define their scope of practice. Currently there is a variation seen in both these contexts especially in the area of medication administration. It is therefore required to form a distinction between the roles of registered and enrolled nurses so that this important task can be handled with extreme care.
Enrolled nurses in Australia work under the supervision of a registered nurse. The registered nurses are usually responsible for delegation of duties and sometimes that also include medication administration. Delivering quality nursing care is possible only when both enrolled and registered nurses have clearly understood and identified their respective scopes of practice. Enrolled nurses are usually responsible for care planning, assessment of nursing practices, and coordination of a healthcare team in some settings.
Nursing handling more responsibilities means that enrolled nurses are given more tasks than they are trained to handle. Since enrolled nurses can be held responsible for their nursing actions particularly when it comes to medication administration and in case an expiry takes place due to negligence, it is very important to shed some light on this issue throughout the Australian healthcare scene. There are clearly defined skills, education level and activities of enrolled nurses in almost all hospitals and healthcare units.
In order to understand the scope of practice clearly, there is a need to take specialised courses designed for this purpose. The trained individuals are able to grasp the concepts more logically and they have the potential to become successful practitioners in any kind of setting or facility in Australia and the world over. There is a need to go through the roles and scopes of practice for both registered and enrolled nurses so that they can understand their tasks and deliver quality nursing to the patients.