Responsibility of a Nurse – With 7 Examples

Responsibility of a nurse

In this article, we talk about the responsibility of different nurses. Here we go through in general responsibility of a nurse. I think that this is a really good and important subject.

There is a lot of responsibility in nursing because you are dealing with human lives. So it is really important to act responsibly.

In nursing, even the slightest mistake can be too much.

What is the responsibility of a nurse? Let’s take an example here.

For example, you work in a hospital in a ward. In a ward, you are in the medicine room distributing patients’ medicines in medicine cups. When you take the medicine with tweezers from the jar, the medicine tablet drips on the floor.

What do you do?

Do you put the tablet in the patient’s medicine cup or for disposal? The responsible nurse will put the tablet for disposal. This is a responsible activity.

Next, I tell you about my own experience of responsibility.

I was on an internship at a maternity and child health clinic. I was looking for a vaccine for a baby with my instructor.

I was commissioned to prepare the vaccine. The vaccine was not immediately ready to use because the solvent must be mixed with the powder and then the vaccine substance was drawn into the syringe.

Okay, it sounds easy.

But drawing the substance back into the syringe was surprisingly difficult. I pulled the plunger of the syringe too far back so that the whole plunger came off and some of the vaccines came off.

Then I suddenly put the plunger back in place but some of the vaccine substances were on the table and some in the syringe.

Then I thought about what I should do now.

The vaccine should contain all the vaccine substances. I took a new vaccine and I cleaned up the mess from the last one.

So this was a responsible activity. The baby would not have received the required amount of vaccine if I had injected her/his half-empty.

So I cannot emphasize enough that responsible action in nursing is everything in everything! That is really important.

I hope that after these examples you will understand what responsibility of a nurse better.

Role and responsibility of a nurse

Role and responsibility of a nurse

The nurse has a significant role in the multidisciplinary care of the client/patient.

The nurse is at the center of coordinating the client’s care, often with the doctor as a working couple of a doctor.

The role of the nurse as part of multidisciplinary care is increasingly emphasized by patients who use a lot of services or need a lot of care.

The role of the nurse is a really broad concept.

You are a nurse, you are a therapist, you are a friend, you might be the only social contact for someone.

You are everything to your patients and to their families. Nursing is going on saving lives. That is nursing.

The role of the nurse is invaluable. Nurses are multi-skilled.

There is really a lot of responsibility of a nurse and it requires skill and knowledge. Nurses are invaluable.

So the role and responsibility of a nurse are huge.

The nurse is the nurse but she/he is also much more because the work tasks are so extensive and clients/patients need discussion assistance, etc.

That’s all about the role and responsibility of a nurse in general. Next, let’s dive in a little bit deeper to specific types of nurses.

Responsibility of a registered nurse

Here is a good video about the role and responsibility of a nurse. I highly recommend you to watch it entirely before continuing reading.

Then let’s focus on the responsibility of a registered nurse. All the texts under the previous heading also apply here. But this is where the focus is specifically on a registered nurse.

Related articles of ours:

A registered nurse is dealing with human lives so the responsibility is high. Depending on the workplace, the responsibilities may be different.

Let’s take again example here.

I think the examples open up well and clarify what I’m looking for from behind. This next example has been invented.

You work as a nurse in a hospital ward. The patient receives an antibiotic intravenously. Your job is to prepare the antibiotic and give it to the patient.

It is really important that you know how to prepare the antibiotic aseptically. The antibiotic is given directly into the bloodstream.

Because the antibiotic is given directly into the bloodstream it is really important to know what you are doing.

You have to be sure that the medicine is right. Then you need to be sure that you are giving the medicine along the correct route. And then, of course, that time is right to give a medicine.

These three things are really important.

The patient’s condition should be monitored very closely during and after giving medicine. Giving medicines to the patient comes many times during the day.

The nurse must always know what she/he is doing and a single mistake can be fatal. So you can imagine that there is a lot of responsibility.

The work of a nurse is very responsible but rewarding. I hope that after these examples you understand better what responsibility of a registered nurse means.

Let’s continue with the responsibilities of nurses.

Responsibility of a charge nurse

The charge nurse is the supervisor of the ward. Charge nurses are registered nurses (RNs) with advanced education, such as a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN).

The related article of ours: ADN vs BSN – What’s the Difference?

The charge nurse is responsible for delegating nursing duties and assignments.

The charge nurse makes shift lists. They act as the head of the unit and are responsible for the operation of the department.

In some places, the charge nurse participates in the nursing work but in some places, she/he only does administrative work. But administrative tasks are included to charge nurses.

In the places where I have been training in internship, the charge nurse has made only administrative tasks.

And in those places where I have been in internships the charge nurse makes morning shifts Monday through Friday.

There is always a responsibility to act as a supervisor. There is a lot of responsibility in the work of a charge nurse.

You are responsible for the operation of the unit.

Responsibility of a nurse practitioner

How does the responsibility of a nurse differ from the responsibility of a nurse practitioner?

According to NurseJournal, ”A nurse practitioner role generally focuses on preventative and holistic care, with personalized treatment areas for each individual patient”.

Nurse practitioner writes prescriptions for particular medications.

Also, nurse practitioner diagnoses and treat acute infections, injuries, and illnesses. Then nurse practitioner also goes through the medication prescribed with the patient and instructs on the use of the medication.

Then nurse practitioners talk to patients effectively managing their health.

So there is a lot of responsibility in this work as well.

Responsibilities of a neonatal nurse

First, do you know what is a neonatal nurse? If you don’t know, check this article of ours: Neonatal Nurse.

In that article, I will tell you all about neonatal nurses.

Neonatal nurses work with newborn babies. They are lifesavers of newborn babies. They work with small babies. So yes, there is a lot of responsibility.

I have been an internship in the intensive care unit. The Baby Intensity Department has several neonatal nurses, baby follow-up devices, and incubators.

Work at the intensive care unit is varied and at the beginning of a shift, you never know what kind of shift is coming.

Related articles of ours:

In addition to the actual intensive care work, the work includes a lot of parental guidance and mental support. You have to deal with very tough things at work.

A neonatal nurse must be able to use all kinds of equipment.

A neonatal nurse is responsible for small fragile people.

So the responsibilities of a neonatal nurse are huge.

Responsibility of a nurse assistant

Responsibilities of a nurse assistant

You may have already noticed that nursing always involves responsibility, no matter what nursing you do.

But caring for patients on a daily basis provides some of the greatest rewards any profession could offer. 

The nurse assistant does basic care for patients. Nurse assistants for example feed, bathe and dress patients. Then nurse assistants also take vital signs and serve meals and clean.

At this job too, you work with people and are responsible for their good care. Basic care is extremely important.

You are responsible for doing basic care as well as possible so that man should be good. The patient is clean and she/he must be in a cleanroom. He/she is saturated.

Which of us would like to be dirty and hungry? When we are unable to take care of ourselves then we need help and it is wonderful that there are people who help.

Responsibility of a nurse anesthetist

Responsibilities of a nurse anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist has the main responsibilities of administering anesthesia and monitoring patients through their surgeries.

Also, the nurse anesthetist assesses the patient’s condition after surgery and discusses surgery with the patient before the procedure.

Then nurse anesthetist gives anesthesia and the right amount of medicine. Then nurse anesthetist maintaining the patient’s anesthesia levels during surgery.

And then nurse anesthetist ensuring proper anesthesia recovery.

So nurse anesthetist is responsible for the patient’s anesthesia.

The job really requires a lot of knowledge and skills. The responsibility is high in this role as well.

Conclusion: Role and responsibilities of a nurse

You have probably already noticed that depending on the job, nursing is a big responsibility because it is about human lives.

A nurse can work in really many places. Jobs are different depending on where you work but everyone has a big responsibility.

However, the work is rewarding. You just have to remember to be really precise in everything you do. And through experience, the job is reassured.

I hope that you enjoyed my personal examples and the definition of responsibility of a nurse.

If you would like to learn some more check out these articles of ours:

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About Ida Koivisto, BSN, RN, PHN

Ida is both a registered nurse and public health nurse. Her passion is to provide as much valuable information about nursing to the world as possible. In her spare time from work and blogging, Ida loves to work out at the gym and spend time with relatives.