Roles and Functions of Registered Nurse in Healthcare Delivery System


The role of the registered nurse is evolving as the mode of delivery of health care services has undergone major changes both locally and internationally in the past decades. In line with international trends, they are providing lifelong holistic care, promote health, and enhance the quality of life, and enables human development. The presence of qualified and competent health care professionals is the key to the delivery of quality care in a health care delivery system. As registered nurses play a pivotal role in the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health, we need to develop competent nurses who can take up extended and expanded roles in the delivery of primary, secondary, and tertiary care.

You may follow the Roles and Responsibilities of Registered Nurses in Continuity of Care

What is a Registered Nurse?

A Registered nurse is a nurse who holds a nursing diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and met the al other licensing requirements mandated by their country, state province, or similar licensing body. They possess a large base of knowledge to prevent diseases, promote well-being, and aid patients to improve their health.

Role of registered nurse in healthcare setting
Fig: Role of the registered nurse in the healthcare setting

Roles and Responsibilities of Registered Nurse in Healthcare Delivery System:

Registered Nurse plays a principle role in the continuity of care using the nursing process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation. Registered Nurses provide holistic nursing care to individuals, families, communities, or populations by using critical thinking, skill, professional competence, and evidence-based knowledge.

Registered nurse required different role in promoting, maintaining, and restoring health which is described below:

1. Nurse as a Care Giver:

As a caregiver, a nurse provides direct hands-on care to patients in a variety of settings. They help the ill patient to manage physical needs, prevent illness, and treat the health condition. They also prepare patients for exams or treatments and making assessments, including helping to perform diagnostic tests and analyzing results.

2. Nurse as a Teacher:

It is widely recognized that health teaching is a part of good nursing practice and one of the major functions of a registered nurse. They teach patients and their families how to manage medical conditions and post-treatment care. They also provide health education to patients about self-care, healthy habits, and demonstrate ways how to promote health, prevent illness, maintaining and restoring health properly.

3. Nurse as a Counselor:

The registered nurse provides emotional and psychological support to the patients and their families to cope with the crisis. They help the patient to make proper healthy choices and decisions their throughout lifetime.

4. Monitoring and Diagnostic Role:

This is a critical role that registered nurse does regularly to identify patient’s problems. They establish a care plan for the patient by setting measurable and achievable short- and long-term goals for the patient based on the assessment and diagnosis. Being assessors, nurses identify patient’s problems, causes, and risk factors. They can alleviate suffering; prevent complications and relapse of their client’s health problems.

5. Nurse as an Administrator:

Nurse administrators are licensed and have advanced degrees and field experience. Nurse administrator responsibilities involve overseeing nursing staff, motivating them to do their job well, and supervising assistant administrators. A nurse administrator’s responsibility is to run health care settings dynamically with any interruption of patient care.

6. Nurse as an Advocate:

A registered nurse works as an advocate of patient’s rights concerning their care. They provide sufficient information to the patient and their family members to make necessary health care decisions regarding their health. They also help them to navigate a complex medical system, translating medical terms, and helping patients make ethical decisions. Advocates ensure those patients’ autonomy and self-determination. They also help the patient/family member in the decision-making process and speak up when problems go unnoticed or when the patient or family can’t or won’t address them.

7. Nurse as a Manager:

As a manager, the registered nurse practices administrative direction towards to achieve or fulfill specific goals by assessing clients’ needs, planning and implementing those plans to meet those needs. Nurse managers are responsible to supervise the nursing staff under them in a hospital or clinical setting.

 8. Nurse as a Collaborator:

A registered nurse can practice in a different area in a country or region. They always communicate and collaborate with many people including patients and patient’s family members, other nurses, physicians, social workers, and community leaders, therapists, nutritionists, psychologists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians, legislators, etc. as a member of the health care team. (Fairly 1993, Williams, 1986).

9. Nurse as a Leader:

Registered nurses are becoming increasingly active in the leader role. As a leader, the registered nurse instructs influences, or persuades others to effect change that will positively affect the patient’s health. The leadership role’s primary function is to use the change of health policy based on people’s health; thus, the registered nurse becomes an agent of change.

10. Nurse as a Researcher:

Nurse researchers are scientists and investigators who study various aspects of health, illness, and health care systems. In the researcher role, they join in systematic investigation, collecting and analyzing data to resolve problems and develop nursing practice in a professional and community area. Based on the research result, they look for ways to improve health, quality of health care services, and health care outcomes.

2 thoughts on “Roles and Functions of Registered Nurse in Healthcare Delivery System”

  1. I really enjoyed reading your article. It was an educational article for me. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge.

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