Australian enrolled nurses have their say Part 2: Scope of practice

Gibson, T.; Heartfield, M.

Contemporary Nurse 19(1-2): 126-136


ISSN/ISBN: 1037-6178
DOI: 10.5172/conu.19.1-2.126
Accession: 068502629

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Determination of the scope of practice for enrolled nurses has been an ongoing issue in Australia, compounded by the existence of two regulated levels of nurse with often overlapping roles and functions. This paper explores enrolled nurse scope of practice, drawing on findings from national research that examined the role, function and competencies of the enrolled nurse. Enrolled nurses from a range of settings in all states and territories participated in telephone interviews exploring their experiences of practice and the role and function of the enrolled nurse. Findings indicated various influences on enrolled nurse role and function, including geographical location, organisational policy and management practices, registered and enrolled nurse relationships and lack of differentiation between registered and enrolled nurse roles. Following a previous paper exploring issues related to teamwork and recognition of enrolled nurses, these influences are discussed as they relate to enrolled nurse scope of practice. The role and usefulness of decision making frameworks in clarifying the scope of enrolled nurse practice are also explored.