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According to the International Council of Nurses (2013), the application and development of nursing standards are considered to be vital part of achieving quality healthcare, protecting the people and ensuring quality outcomes of the nursing practice. Standards characterize the public, government and the profession quality level or the attainment of the real practice which can be expected. It should be noted that registered nursing standards inform the regulations involving registration, nurse’s determination of capability for practice, education and the guide to employee relation, consumers and other entities on what is expected of a registered practicing nurse. This paper will discuss registered nurse standards in Australia and reflect on the two standards using the Gibb's Reflective cycle.

Registered Nursing Standards for Practice

When a registered nurse wants to renew his or her license in Australia to practice, he or she must declare that he or she will practice or start to practice in line with the national nursing standards (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016b). The same process is normally conducted in other countries like Canada, United Kingdom; countries which usually have yearly registration renewal schemes, which need registered nurses to declare that they will offer their service to the public in accordance with the nursing standards of their respective nations. Contained in the Australian registered nurse standards for practice, is the necessity that registered nurses should offer their contribution to the proficient growth and enhancement of nursing students. According to the Nursing midwifery board of Australia (2016a), RNs standards which are considered as part of the practice, require registered nurses to be answerable and accountable for the division and supervision of activities of nursing to the nurses enrolled (ENs) as well as others; in which the term others relate to nursing students. Moreover, 2.7 of the standards states that registered nurses should actively foster and promote a culture of learning and safety which entails engaging with the medical professionals and others in order to practice and share knowledge, which supports person-centred nursing (Nursing Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016a). Moreover, other countries like the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Canada have an anticipation that RNs will offer nursing students with the development and enhancement in their profession which is contained in their own standards (Anderson, 2018).

The registered nurse standard for practice which was formerly referred to as, national competency standards for the registered nurse, was established by Australian nursing and midwifery in 1990s. It should be noted that in 2006, the 4th edition was published under the Australian nursing and midwifery; nevertheless, when the national structure started in Australia in late 2009, the documentation of nursing standards was the responsibility of the nursing and midwifery board of Australia. This is a recognized organization stracture with a responsibility to regulate nurses and midwives’ practice in Australia.

The RNs standards for practice are normally seven (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2016);

  1. Nurses should think critically as well as analyze nursing practice.
  2. Nurses should engage in professional and therapeutic relationships.
  3. Nurses should maintain the practice capability.
  4. Nurses should adequately and widely perform assessments.
  5. Nurses should regularly come up with a plan for nursing practice.
  6. Nurses should offer a safe, responsive and appropriate nursing practice quality.
  7. Nurses should assess and evaluate results so as to inform the nursing practice.

It should be noted that all these standards are interconnected, that is, standards number 1, 2 and 3 are related to each other and the dimensions of number 4, 5, 6 and 7. Another important and vital factor is that these ideals are for all the RNs in every area of service in the country. The Australian health practitioner regulation agency was started in 2010 so as to improve the safety and quality of health services in Australia through an updated national regulatory system for the medical and health professionals.

The two standards that this paper will reflect on using the Gibbs’ model entail thinking critically and analyzing nursing practice and the engagement in professional and therapeutic relationships. Relevance of Thinking Critically and Analyzing of Nursing Practice and Engaging in Professional and Therapeutic Relationships to Nursing Students and Registered Nurses

‘Doing the right theory’ defines the manner in which Registered nurses offer expert development to the nursing students by supporting as well as teaching them on nursing and clinical placement since they trust doing such is the prudent activity to undertake (Anderson, 2017). Clinical and nursing skills in nursing are clearly vital yet critical thinking normally is the key and the basis of being a good nurse. Critical thinking and analysis are very significant to nursing students as well as registered nurses since they are what nurses apply to prioritize and make prudent decisions which can save lives frameworks (Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia, 2017). Normally nurses offer care to people every time, thus, critical thinking for nursing students and registered nurses is important since through critical thinking they can spot someone who is dying or living. For a student to become a successful registered nurse, he or she has to learn to think as a nurse. As a nursing student, one will learn how to dress as well as save lives and do an IV yet there is more of being a registered nurse having good clinical skills (Birks, Smithson, Davis & Cant, 2016). as a registered nurse, one must have the following attributes a critical thinker; fair, logical, complete precise, clear and accurate. It should be noted that nurses must avoid irrelevant, illogical and inconsistent thinking and analysis as they focus on patient care (Avillion, 2010). As a nursing student during placement one is expected to think critically when handling complex patient issues in the wards. During dressing of wounds, one has to apply critical thinking in deciding the process and the materials to use.

Maintaining a professional and therapeutic association between a client and nursing practitioner is considered important is the hallmark of good nursing practice. A relationship between a nurse and client is normally based on intimacy, empathy, respect and trust. RNs standards of practice on maintaining a professional and therapeutic association among students is always promoted by the communication skills that they taught in class and in places of placements. The transition into being a registered nurse is always marked with the necessity to practice a good professional relationship with the new colleagues in the wards and also with the different clients. Students in placements are required to maintain professional and therapeutic relationship with the colleagues, the supervisors and the patients in different wards.

Evaluation of the registered nursing standards

These standards are very vital for the registered nurses in Australia as they ensure that quality healthcare is provided to the public. It should be noted that the applications of nursing standards are active and cross economic, professional, legislative, educational and social spectrum. The protection of the public needs enforcing and prescribing codes of practice which are relevant and related to the competencies, required for effective and safe practice (Mathes, Reifsnyder & Sigma Theta Tau International, 2014). The standards usually offer functional strategy in specifying a threshold or minimum performance level like those which are needed for the entry to the nursing practice and profession in nursing and clinical roles. These standards are reinterpreted by the authorities for unique areas of profession and practice like administration and education or child’s nursing. These selected RNs standards for practice are very vital in driving the services and activities of the registered nurses in Australia.


The government of Australia through NMBA should ensure that RNs standards for practice are enforced and all registered to comply to the said standards fin order to offer quality and safe health care to the public.


1. Anderson, C., C. (2017). Registered Nurses’ understanding of the nursing standard requirement to provide professional development to nursing students on clinical placements: The theory of Doing the Right Thing.
2. Anderson, C. (2018). Is provision of professional development by RNs to nursing students a choice? Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 35(4), 34–41.
Avillion, A. E. (2010). Nursing Orientation Program Builder: Tools for a Successful New Hire Program. Danvers, MA: HCPro, a division of BLR.
Birks, M., Smithson, J., Davis, J., & Cant, R. (2016). Registered nurse scope of practice in Australia: an integrative review of the literature. Contemporary Nurse: A Journal for the Australian Nursing Profession, 52(5), 522–543.
International Council of Nurses (2013). Nursing regulation. Retrieved from
Mathes, M., Reifsnyder, J., & Sigma Theta Tau International. (2014). Nurse’s Law Questions & Answers for the Practicing Nurse. Indianapolis, IN, USA: Sigma Theta Tau International.
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). (2016a). Registered nurse standards for practice. Canberra, ACT: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). (2016b). Renewal of general registration for Registered Nurses: Nursing and Midwifery. Canberra, ACT: Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia.
9. Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA). (2017). Professional standards. Retrieved from au/Codes-Guidelines-Statements/Professional Development.
10. Nursing and Midwifery Board Of Australia. (2016). Registered nurse standards for practice. Retrieved from