Growing up my grandmother would tell us if you directly or indirectly created a problem, an issue, or a situation, you own it and its yours until it is resolved. The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses talks about accountability and responsibility for your nursing practice and so does your State Nurse Practice Act.
What is responsibility? http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/responsibility
What is accountability? http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accountability
See the ANA Code of Ethics at Provision 4 and its discussion of responsibility and accountability at http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ThePracticeofProfessionalNursing/EthicsStandards/CodeofEthics.aspx
The professional regulation of nursing practice and the legal regulation of nursing practice both require accountability and responsibility for your nursing practice. Why am I saying this? I had maybe a one hour course in nursing school on nursing ethics and it didn't stick. I think nurses should be required to take a one hour course on the nursing practice act and nursing ethics each year to drive these types of concepts home in plain english, free of the legalese of course, with concrete examples.
There is a push to "push out more nurses" like its an assembly line process because of the nursing shortage. What about the quality of nursing education vs. the rush to open more schools and push out new graduates? How are nurses transitioning into the professional practice of nursing especially when you see more and more stats about the increase in litigation and State Nursing Board complaints? You don't see a push to open hundreds or thousand of medical schools and other training programs for healthcare professionals and there is a rationale for this. But everyone and there mother is opening or expanding a LPN, RN, RN to BSN, RN to MSN, RN to PhD, or RN to DNP program for nursing. Yes its a money maker but what about social responsibility and accountability to the nursing profession.
You only need to attend a State Board of Nursing Meeting to hear about the problems some of these nursing programs have especially the proprietary schools of nursing. Don't email me if you teach in a proprietary nursing school about how you help disadvantaged students become nurses and how you help non-traditional students because "I ain't hearing it because I see it in my law practice." I am going to post on proprietary nursing schools later this month but I have to clear the post with my attorney first:)
I met with a new graduate yesterday who recently received her nursing license six months ago and has had a complaint filed against her license with the State Nursing Board for a practice issue. My heart sank during this meeting because I couldn't imagine being in her shoes when I was 6 months out of my ASN program. What is the root cause analysis? I am seeing more cases involving new graduates and new nurses in my law pactice. What does this mean?
Okay, I am rambling. Responsibility and Accountability. This is a major underpinning of discipline before the State Nursing Board, discipline in the workplace, criminal issues for nurses, and nursing malpractice. You are responsible and accountable for the actions or inactions in your personal life just like you are responsibile and accountable for the actions or inactions in your nursing practice; Its also to important to remember that your personal life may overlap with your nursing practice and your professional career when you are a state licensed professional.