Review the Professional Writing Assignment Rubric to guide you in the writing submission. To earn your points this must be followed.
In the paper, identify the eight roles (caregiver, advocate, critical thinker, teacher, communicator, manager/administrator/executive, researcher, and rehabilitator) related to nursing practice and fully explain the roles importance. Correctly cite, The Institute of Medicine (2010, October) The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health (because this is a hallmark study for nursing). Then look at the grading rubric to know how many other resources (nursing journal or nursing website) within the last 5 years. To earn your points the grading rubric must be followed.
Include a title page, 2-3 page body, and a reference page = 5 page paper
View the Sample Roles Paper in this module
Submit the Roles Paper in the drop box by Sunday at midnight.
Write this paper using your own words. Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. The idea remains problematic with unclear definitions and unclear rules. This will cause you to earn a zero – so please pay special attention to doing your own work.
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Running head: YOUR TITLE HERE
Your Title Here
Columbus State University
Nursing 3192 Professional Development Perspectives
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Your Title Here
Nurses have a direct impact on patient outcomes. Nurses do many things; however,
the American Nurses Association defines nursing as, “the protection, promotion, and
optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of
suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the
care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (Nursing World, 2002, p. 1).
However, the nursing profession importance of nurses goes largely unnoticed until
something happens that brings attention to them and what they do. The physician has the
main task of keeping a patient alive and in good health, but the nurse is often at the
forefront providing constant attention and care. In today’s hospitals and medical offices,
nurses play eight important roles in patients’ lives: caregiver, advocate, critical thinker,
teacher, communicator, manager, researcher, and rehabilitator. This paper will discuss
each role in more detail.
The role of a caregiver is probably the most important role that a nurse plays in a
patient’s life. The nurse is actually called a “caregiver” in some establishments. The
number one priority when caring for a patient is to make sure that all of their needs are
met, both physically and mentally (Gebhardt, McGehee, Grindel & Testani-Dufour,
2011). Part of caring for patients includes keeping them comfortable, and the nurse does
this by ensuring that they provide an atmosphere to keep the patient as pain-free as
possible. Just as a mother cares for their child, the nurse cares for their patient, and in
some cases when a patient does not have a mother or father figure, the nurse can
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somewhat assume this role and help the patient comfortably get through their time in the
An advocate is one who pleads the case of another, or one that supports or
promotes the interests of another. The nurse also fulfills this role by acting in the patient’s
best interests and doing what is necessary to ensure that the outcome of the medical care
will be positive. By serving as an advocate for patients, nurses give them a person that
they can confide in, and the patient feels as if he or she has someone they can lean on.
The advocate role also allows nurses to give the client a sense of security, and this will let
the patient know that they are never alone. Nurses carry the advocate role by also
explaining clients’ rights to them in words that they can understand while also helping
patients make the best decisions for their health. As a patient’s advocate, the nurse makes
sure that the patient is aware of all of their options for care and supports their decisions.
The critical thinking role that nurses play may not be as direct as some other roles
that they carry but it is very important because they have to carry the responsibility of
making hard decisions when it comes to patient care. Sometimes these decisions are also
made quickly. It involves things such as helping the patient decide on the best options for
their health, assisting in prescriptions and insurance matters, and helping with visitation
matters (Simpson & Courtney, 2002). Critical thinking also comes into play when
emergencies occur because the nurse must use their skills and experience to make a quick
decision that could mean life or death for their patient.
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People are always learning because it is a lifelong venture. The same thing applies
to the hospital room because patients learn from their nurses, and this is why they also
fulfill the role of the “teacher.” Nurses teach their patients by informing them on the
illnesses or injuries that they are dealing with as well as showing them the best treatments
for their situations. Nurses also teach their patients how they can continue to maintain a
great standard of living after they leave the medical center. The nurse also has to evaluate
the patient as a teacher would grade a student because they must ensure that the patient
understands their situation and their options for treatment. They must do this in a way
that provides the maximum benefit to the patient because the doctor’s care will be in vain
if the patient does not know how to care for themselves away from the hospital or
medical office. Nurses can also take their experience to the academic arena in their spare
time or transition over full-time and teach nursing students the skills they need to be
effective instructors for their future patients.
One of the most important roles that a nurse plays is serving as a communicator
for his or her patient. This is especially important in situations when the patient’s illness
or injury may hinder them from physically being able to verbalize their thoughts and
feelings. Communication is important among the nurse and patient because the patient
has to be able to communicate their status to their nurse, and the nurse has two
responsibilities as a liaison because they have to be able to communicate important
information back to the patient while also serving as the patient’s communicator when it
comes to the doctors and other hospital staff. In order to effectively do this, the nurse
must have a good degree of communication skills to deal with and be understood by all
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parties involved in the patient’s care. It is also important for nurses to keep the
communication lines clear and open with every member of the staff that will be assisting
in their patient’s care.
Nurses are not normally seen as managers but this role is a huge part of their jobs
at the hospital and medical offices. Someone must coordinate the patient’s schedule and
their time with the doctor that is treating them, and this usually falls on the nurse’s
clipboard. Nurses are great managers because they have to coordinate the team that is
involved in their patient’s care as well as manage the patient themselves. They must also
help manage the family that is supporting the patient during visitation as well as helping
them filter through the options and decisions regarding their loved one. This requires the
possession of good management skills, and requires some critical thinking as well.
Simply making sure that a patient is comfortable is not the only task in a nurse’s
list. In addition to administering shots and supplying medicine to the patient, nurses also
have a responsibility to research and find better ways to care for the patients that they are
responsible for, thus earning the title of “researcher.” Research is important to nurses
because they are obligated to continually educate themselves in the field that they are
practicing in. This leads to better health care from educated nurses that can answer most,
if not all, of their patient’s questions. Researching also allows nurses to contribute their
experiences and knowledge to resources where it is needed through papers and studies
that they may conduct themselves.
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Nurses provide continual care to their patients while under their supervision. In
addition to being a caregiver, the other primary role that nurses must perform well is that
of the “rehabilitator.” This is a critical function because the main goal of the healthcare
team is to ensure that the patient’s condition improves and that it affects their quality of
life as little as possible while returning their status back to its previous state (“Role of
the,” 2007). The nurse must also help the patient cope with their healing as well as adapt
to any changes in lifestyle that their post-condition state may bring. Physical therapists
make this their life’s work, but the nurse starts the rehabilitation process by helping the
patient focus on becoming healthy again.
No one will ever say that nurses are not important because that is extremely far
from the truth. Nurses keep hospitals afloat, and they also keep patients’ spirits high
while providing the best care that they will get in and out of the doctor’s presence. They
do this by fulfilling different roles that span from being the principal caregiver in the
hospital to being the patient’s “manager on duty”, and even more. The doctor is tasked
with keeping the patient alive, but the nurse is likely the number one person in the
patient’s eyes because they are the client’s eyes, ears, and representative when it comes to
their hospital care. Nurses are masters of multitasking – their importance should never be
taken for granted.
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Gebhardt, M. C., McGehee, L. A., Grindel, C. G., & Testani-Dufour, L. (2011).
Caregiver and nurse hopes for recovery of patients with acquired brain injury.
Rehabilitation NURSING, 36(1), 3.
NursingWorld. (2002). In American Nurses Association. Retrieved January 18, 2012,
Role of the nurse in the rehabilitation team. (2007, March). Retrieved from
Simpson, E., & Courtney, M. (2002). Critical thinking in nursing education: A literature
review (Master’s thesis). Retrieved January 19, 2012, from