Simply, there are differences between the state board of nursing and the professional organizations in their functions. Generally, a board in nursing controls all practices in nursing while professionals nursing organizations advocates for nurses. According to Exstrom (2001), a state board of nursing is a regulatory and licensing body specific for a particular state and it is involved in issuance of licenses to qualified candidates, identifies nurses’ scope of practice within its jurisdiction, sets the standards for safe nursing care. For example, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing in the US is responsible in regulating nursing practice through the development of uniform rules and regulations for the practice, enforces the law, oversees the licensure process among nurses and accredits or accepts nursing programs. On the other hand, the role of professional organization in nurses is generating proactive work, flow of ideas and energy required in maintain a profession that advocates for nurses, and their clients.
Methods of Credentialing
There are four major method of credentialing in nursing profession: licensure, registration, certification and recognition (DeNisco and Barker, 2016). Licensure which grants a permit to nurses to carry out specific actions without which it would be illegal. It is beneficial to the public where it protects the public through restrictions on the use of scope and title to nurses who meets the criteria. Nonetheless, it limits the nursing scope of practice particularly where a nurse cannot assist a patient in danger due to restrictions of their cope of practice. DeNisco and Barker explains that credentialing is beneficial to the professional scope of practice as it provides legal authority to nurses to act within their scope, but it restricts the professional scope of practice to specific parameters like region and state.
Registration reviews certificate to identify the entry criteria which is beneficial to public as it assists in protecting their health, welfare and safety. Nonetheless, the public are not protected entirely as deregistered nurses can still practice. It is beneficial to the professional scope in that it allows professionals to legally operate through the name registered, but this is only a title as it lacks specific differentiations from unregistered nurses. Needleman (2014) mentions that recognition is beneficial to the public as it offers protection through scope regulations and to the professional scope, they are given legal authority to guide their practice. However, limiting the nursing scope negatively affects the delivery of care and is likely to cause inefficiencies in the delivery of care.
After attaining some predetermined standards, an agency may provide time limited recognition to a nurse. According to DeNisco and Barker (2016), certification is beneficial to the public and professional scope as it protects the health, safety and welfare of the public and improves the eligibility of the individual for promotion purposes. Nonetheless, due to its voluntary aspect, certified persons may continues practicing thus not fully effective in protecting the public. Its weakness in terms of professional scope is that it lacks special privileges between certified and uncertified professionals.
Mathews, J. (2012). Role of Professional Organizations in Advocating for the Nursing Profession. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues In Nursing, 17(1).
Needleman, J., Dittus, R., Pittman, P., Spetz, J., & Newhouse, R. (2014). Nurse Credentialing Research Frameworks and Perspectives for Assessing a Research Agenda. National Academy of Sciences.
DeNisco, S. M., & Barker, A. M. (2016). Advanced practice nursing: essential knowledge for the profession.
Exstrom, S. M. (2001). The state board of nursing and its role in continued competency. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 32(3), 118-125.
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