Regulatory Requirements and Standards in Nursing

According to recent statistics, about 3% of all hospitalized patients suffer from adverse events associated with medical errors, and over 50,000 people die due to them annually (Guillod, 2013). The numbers make it clear that medical errors pose a serious issue in the U.S. health care system as they significantly increase the financial burden while threatening patient safety.

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It is possible to say that multiple regulatory requirements and professional standards have the purpose of minimizing the risks of potential damage to patients’ health and increasing the overall quality of service. Although it may seem that they repeat and recap some of the norms which are well-known in the field of nursing for decades, these regulations do not do substantial harm to either hospitals or practitioners and certainly do not go too far.

In her article, Grant (2014) regards new rules from accrediting bodies as the illustrations to highly effective care that nurses can perform. The researcher’s assumption seems valid enough because responsibilities, competencies, and desirable patient outcomes listed in these documents do not differ from those that every competent nurse already possesses and knows. In point of fact, it is possible to assume that most of the cases of medical error and patient dissatisfaction are mainly caused when practitioners and the hospital management fail to keep up with high professional standards.

I this situation, the introduction of new regulations may only be beneficial as it may help to stimulate professionals to improve their work environments, as well as the team and individual performance. The regulatory requirements may serve as guidelines in education, advanced nurse training, and the creation of sound organizational culture. Although the compliance with them may require greater efforts and investments, in the long run, it all may be overcompensated by a significant decrease in the losses caused by medical errors and patient dissatisfaction.


Grant, M. (2014). Regulatory requirements: A necessary evil or a way to highlight the essence of good nursing care?. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 18(3), 265-266.

Guillod, O. (2013). Medical error disclosure and patient safety: Legal aspects. Journal of Public Health Research, 2(3), e31.

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