Nursing Standards and Competencies

Patient Assessment

Nurses collect patients’ health and lifestyle data


  • Collects data on patients’ current medical condition and lifestyle needs
  • Uses assessment techniques, tools and instruments
  • Uses interviews, examination, observation and medical records review
  • Assesses patients’ educational needs and developmental levels
  • Records current medical issues, past medical issues, current medication, past medications
  • Considers the interaction of body systems with lifestyle issues
  • Synthesizes information and data
  • Assesses family dynamics and impact on health and wellness
  • Documents relevant data


Analyzes records and assessment data to determine nursing best practices


  • Determines possible adverse reactions
  • Weighs safety risks
  • Supports patient in adjusting to medical diagnosis
  • Documents risk factors related to nursing care

Treatment Plan

Prescribes, monitors, advises and adjusts treatment plans


  • Prescribes, monitors, advises and adjusts treatment plan based upon patients’ culture and support system
  • Uses culturally appropriate teaching methods
  • Considers existing health conditions and health history
  • Establishes priorities with patients, family
  • Enlists multidisciplinary strategies suitable for patients’ culture
  • Considers Patients’ “Rights and Responsibilities”
  • Applies current medical evidence, best practices and research trends
  • Modifies the plan based upon ongoing assessment to patients’ response to treatment and other factors
  • Documents progress using standard forms, professional language and medical terminology
  • Communicates medical progress in ways significant to patients’ culture

Identifies Treatment Outcomes

Identifies expected outcomes for patients’ treatment plans.


  • Communicates treatment and treatment outcomes in culturally appropriate ways
  • Documents outcomes as measurable goals with time-frame targets
  • Teaches and trains patients’ primary givers in post outcome care
  • Advised patients and caregivers of possible side effects of medication
  • Modifies follow-up practices in line with patients’ recovery


Implements patients’ prescribed treatment plans


  • Follows professional best-practice standards
  • Delivers treatments based on competent medical diagnosis
  • Ensures patients’ safety
  • Acts as a patients’ advocate
  • Supports patients’ privacy


Delivers clinical methods that ensure patients’ safety


  • Infection control
  • Radiation safety
  • Safe handling of “Sharps”
  • Disposal of biological materials
  • Teaching patients self-care and prevention methods


Evaluates patients’ ongoing progress.


  • Conducts ongoing patient evaluation
  • Responds to patients’ needs with appropriate interventions
  • Teaches patients’ self-care techniques
  • Considers patients’ culture in teaching and advising
  • Documents patients’ results


Practices “Patient Welfare First” ethics.


  • Follows the most current Nursing Code of Ethics
  • Protects patients’ rights, dignity, autonomy, beliefs and cultural values
  • Maintains patients’ personal and confidential information
  • Allows patients to make decisions for themselves
  • Advocates for patients
  • Follows state and federal laws concerning medical privacy
  • Follows state and federal laws for child safety

Professional Education

Studies and keeps learning current in our ever-improving technological world.


  • Complete a formal and accredited nursing education program
  • Passes State and National Licensure examinations
  • Keeps knowledge and skills current
  • Demonstrates life-long learning
  • Remains accountable for maintaining current knowledge and skills
  • Shares research findings with colleagues and patients
  • Participates in continuing education programs


Keeps current with advances in medical research


  • Uses medical research in serving patients
  • Uses research to develop and revise policies and procedures
  • Shares research with patients in culturally sensitive ways

Deliver High-Quality Care

Delivers high-quality, professional care to patients and patients’ caregivers.


  • Keep current with medical advancements through Continuing Education
  • Develop strategies to apply and integrate new skill sets
  • Share service improvement successes with colleagues
  • Increase cross-cultural communication skills


Communicates with medical professionals, patients and patient care givers in culturally appropriate ways.


  • Listens with cultural sensitivity
  • Communicates ideas and expectations in an accurate manner
  • Records patients’ treatment notes in a professional manner
  • Provides follow-up and follow-through services for patients


Provides leadership and contributions to multi-disciplinary treatment teams.


  • Share ideas and insights to provide new skill guidance for team members
  • Teach and model multi-cultural listening skills
  • Share cultural insights gained from patient service successes


Collaborate with treatment team colleagues, and support patients’ caretakers in maintaining the patients’ treatment plan..


  • Communicates with patient, the family, and health care providers for successful patient care
  • Building stake-holder consensus to resolve patient care conflicts
  • Meets patient care standards
  • Promotes cooperation, respect and trust among care givers and care takers
  • Involves family in cultural differences affecting patient care

Personal Self-Evaluation

Evaluates and improves personal nursing practice according to professional standards, guidelines, best practices, rules and regulations.


  • Participates in self-evaluation and supervision to identify areas for professional improvement
  • Listens to suggestions from colleagues, patients’, patient caretakers and others involved in patient care
  • Evaluates cultural communication, both what is said, and what remains unsaid
  • Seeks peer review
  • Measures personal and professional practices against ethical and cultural norms

Efficient Use of Resources

Uses resources to provide safe and effective patient care services.


  • Identifies insurance and social service organizations that support patients’ care
  • Delegates health care tasks to qualified team members
  • Advocates for legal, mental health and government financial services to provide quality patient care
  • Serves as a liaison to other health care patient support services

Community Health and Community Mental Health

Develops and advocates for a range of community health services.


  • Keeps current on community resources, legal issues and cultural changes in developing communities of care
  • Promotes practices for a safe working environment