Nurse Roles in Practice

Patient/family/client situation

The roles of professional nurses continue expanding and changing relative to the rising populations in need of healthcare on one hand, and on the other hand, there is the philosophical shift in healthcare provision in that besides nurses curing illnesses, they are also required to promote health, take refresher courses, and advocate for the interests of their patients among other roles (Blais & Hayes, 2011).

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However, execution of nurse roles presents practitioners with various dilemmas and challenges. For instance, I recall a situation whereby I was handling a critically-ill patient who was supposed to undergo a potentially risky treatment procedure to alleviate possible harm.

The problem with this situation is that it was not possible to obtain an informed consent from either the patient or his family members. The events that followed this clinical dilemma are discussed in the preceding discussions relative to the utilization of different nurse roles in real-life practice.

Roles of professional nurses

Care provider

As a care provider, it was my duty to convey understanding and support to my patient in terms of showing attitudes and actions that reflect having his welfare at heart. Here, I ensured that any nursing care/treatment given to the patient reflected the acceptable standards of care that most healthcare providers may have considered under the same circumstances (Blais & Hayes, 2011).

Health promoter

Under this role, I found it necessary to convey evidence-based understanding regarding the patient’s condition to the patient and his family members in order to help them understand the underlying risk factors, some of which can be prevented at family level.

This action was very important because by increasing the client/family’s awareness of the causes and predisposing factors regarding a health problem facing them, chances are high that their future encounter with the same problem will produce different ‘positive’ results.


My first role as a teacher entails educating my clients/patients/family members on different issues affecting their health. This particular role is usually intertwined with the health promotion role as discussed in the foregoing discussions (Blais & Hayes, 2011). On the other hand, I prefer acting as a preceptor for other nurses who are new to our department, and thus, as a nurse teacher, I am available to share knowledge with my peers.

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In the event that I am faced with clinical dilemmas such as the one presented above, it is my duty to seek professional advice from my peers and superiors. Moreover, I am also fond of seeking current evidence from professional journals, seminars, and conferences to refresh my understanding of different clinical situations.


Relative to the client situation described above, my leadership role is captured in my abilities to influence the decisions of my clients in terms of helping them to make decisions meant to improve their wellbeing (Blais & Hayes, 2011).

Furthermore, by sharing knowledge with my peers, I find duty in leading the course of increasing the clients’ satisfaction and effective care delivery. It is also important to note that my most preferred leadership style is transformational leadership.


At a client level, it is my duty to manage the welfare and the quality of care services shown to my clients and the community at large. Most importantly, my duty as a manager in the situation described in the foregoing discussions entailed case management. Here, it was my duty to coordinate with others in order to come up with case-specific and cost-effective care/treatment options for my patient.

Research consumer

My research consumption role is pegged on the fact that in order to come up with solutions to various clinical situations, I must consult professionals in different fields besides reading professional journals and health publications. This gives me an opportunity to obtain current information regarding the clinical situation that I am handling (Blais & Hayes, 2011).


As a patient advocate, it was my duty to ensure that the care/treatment option that was used on my patient produced the highest possible benefits than health risks. Moreover, I ensured that the rights, needs, and interests of the patient were put into consideration before recommending the care/treatment procedure.


I value the interpersonal relations shared with my peers in my department and the organization at large. Therefore, my role as a colleague entails looking after the interests of other nurses considering that they do also face clinical dilemmas such as the one described above.

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Accordingly, it is my duty to share with my colleagues any relevant information that can help them in addressing various clinical situations in the same way I would expect them to come to my rescue.


Collaboration in healthcare is encouraged with the aim of achieving the highest standards of client care and satisfaction (Blais & Hayes, 2011). Accordingly, my role as a collaborator can be seen from the way I collaborated with my peers and superiors in efforts meant to provide evidence-based, fair, cost-effective, and high-quality care/treatment option for my patient relative to the expected outcomes (alleviation of harm).

Moreover, I found duty in promoting and maintaining two-way communication between my patient and other members of the nursing team in order to reduce possible misunderstanding. Overall, despite highlighting different nurse roles as separate entities in care provision, it is imperative to note that these roles do not function in isolation, but rather they often coincide in real-life nursing practice.


Blais, K.K., & Hayes, J.S. (2011). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

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