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Personal and Professional Challenges You Might Face As A Registered Nurse

Subject: Nursing
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A registered nurse (RN) is liable for providing quality and essential healthcare services to the individuals by ensuring effective utilisation of the interpersonal and communication abilities (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2015). An RN must follow The Code: Professional Standards of Practice and Behaviour for Nurses and Midwives while providing personalised healthcare to the people (Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2017). An RN may face certain personal as well as professional challenges while providing care to a patient such as deficiency in planning and coordinating distinct sorts of nursing activities (Burton & Ormrod, 2011). Emphasising the issue, the assignment intends to critically examine the personal along with the professional challenges that might be faced by a RN, thereby considering the strategies, which can be used to develop professional resilience in the field of nursing.

Personal and Professional Challenges

In a healthcare setting, the primary responsibilities of an RN can be identified as making the quality level of clinical judgments while appraising the requirements of the patients, thereby ensuring better deliverance of care to them (Royal College of Nursing, 2015). An RN has an indispensable role to play not only in improvising the health conditions of a patient but also in progressing the healthcare industry by performing successful leadership practices at various healthcare institutions or centres. Some personal challenges relating to compensation, workplace violence, shortage in staffing, extended working hours and workplace hazards are likely to be faced while performing duties and responsibilities as an RN in any healthcare setting. These personal challenges not only restricts the advancement of an RN in the nursing field but also affects the healthcare delivery procedure of the patients at large (Royal College of Nursing, 2017).

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Based on the report published by Royal College of Nursing (2017), violent behaviour from the patients or the co-workers is the other challenge that might be faced while performing the necessary duties of an RN. This violent behaviour mainly arises during the situation, when the patients admitted under mental health unit in any hospital in the UK remain in an inpatient setting for an elongated time. This can be related to the staffing challenge, which the RNs face due to the allocation of inequitable assignments. Based on the survey data collected regarding the working shifts of the RNs, it can be observed that deficit in the level of planned staffing does exist in various hospitals within the UK that affects the healthcare delivery procedure in one way or the other. The survey results also elaborated that in the UK, shortage in staffing level of the RNs is primarily witnessed in their late working shifts. This eventually triggers the need of undertaking various strategies by the hospitals in the UK so that the personal challenge of the RNs in relation to inadequate staffing level is mitigated, thereby providing the patients with better healthcare (Royal College of Nursing, 2017).

The professional challenges that might be faced as an RN are team leadership and competency along with the technical capabilities (NHS England, 2014; The King’s Fund, 2012). With regard to the challenge concerning team leadership, it must be mentioned that taking full charge of the entire nursing team might create a problem while acting as an RN. This problem eventually arises during the situation, when there is a necessity to understand the credibility of a team for making any sort of change in the roles to be performed, thereby overcoming the communication gaps persistent amid the care-providing members. While conducting activities as an RN, certain negative reactions might generate from the end of the patients, co-workers and the top management team-officials as well. Under this circumstance, another challenge of forming, developing and preserving a better relationship with the individual team members may arise in the workplace. This particular challenge can raise questions on the team leadership based on the deliverance of proper care and quality treatment to an individual patient. The other challenge is associated with competency and technical skills, which triggers the need to develop competencies in the specialty of care to be given to a patient. For a new RN, high-complexity care generates a critical challenge due to the reason that specialisation courses are not accessible at varied points of time. In this context, while acting as a senior or an experienced RN, the first initiative would be to ensure that the relevant specialisation courses are made available for the new RNs, with the help which they can effectively address the issue of high-complexity care (The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, 2015).

Strategies to Develop Professional Resilience

The fundamental role of an RN is to generate and sustain within a work setting, which would, in turn, optimise successful, secured and quality patient-centred care (Kennedy et.al., 2011). With relation to the selected nursing field, the strategies that entail preserving work-life equilibrium, recognising the stressors and building strong communications with the medical professionals might be used to develop professional resilience of an RN (Hospice UK, 2015; 2014; McCann et.al., 2013). The five elements of the personal resilience model that include ‘energy’, ‘future focus’, ‘inner drive’, ‘flexible thinking’ and ‘strong relationships’ can also be regarded as the other potential strategy, which might develop an RN’s professional resilience as per the expectation level. These constituents of the model may help the RNs to empower as well as maximise their individual resilience level in delivering a better quality of care to the patients at large (The Well Being Project, 2018; Kinman & Leggetter, 2016). In addition, the other strategies that can be explored to develop professional resilience of an RN for fostering reflective learning, developing emotional literacy maintaining positivity and creating a higher degree of empathy (Grant & Kinman, 2013; Hunter & Warren, 2013).


The personal and the professional challenges that might be faced as an RN are workplace violence, compensation gaps, workplace hazards and prolonged working hours. Apart from these, the other challenges comprise team leadership and development in technical skills. Development of professional resilience is also necessary for the RNs to ensure better delivery of patient-centered care in any healthcare setting. This development can be made possible by promoting reflective learning of the RNs and facilitating them to maintain positivity while delivering quality healthcare to the patients.

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2. Grant, L. & Kinman, G., 2013. Introduction. The Importance of Emotional Resilience for Staff and Students in the ‘Helping’ Professions: Developing an Emotional Curriculum, pp. 7-14.

3. Hospice UK, 2015. Introduction. Resilience: A Framework Supporting Hospice Staff to Flourish in Stressful Times. [Online] Available at: https://www.hospiceuk.org/docs/default-source/default-document-library/resilience—a-framework-supporting-hospice-staff-to-flourish-in-stressful-times.pdf?sfvrsn=2 [Accessed June 28, 2018].

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8. Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2017. Your Responsibilities As A Registered Nurse Or Midwife In The UK. Registering As a Nurse or Midwife in the UK. [Online] Available at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/registration/registering-nurse-or-midwife-inside-eu2.pdf [Accessed June 28, 2018].

9. Nursing & Midwifery Council, 2015. Standards for Competence for Registered Nurses. Global Assets. [Online] Available at: https://www.nmc.org.uk/globalassets/sitedocuments/standards/nmc-standards-for-competence-for-registered-nurses.pdf [Accessed June 28, 2018].

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11. Royal College of Nursing, 2017. Safe and Effective Staffing: Nursing Against the Odds. UK Policy Report, pp. 11-18.

12. Royal College of Nursing, 2015. Health Care Support Workers. Registered Nurses and Health Care Support Workers: A Summary of RCN Policy Positions, pp. 2-8.

13. The Wellbeing Project, 2018. Personal Resilience. Pillars of Resilience. [Online] Available at: https://thewellbeingproject.co.uk/5-pillars-of-resilience/ [Accessed June 28, 2018].

14. The Faculty of Medical Leadership and Management, 2015. Leadership, Culture and Climate in Health Care. Leadership and Leadership Development in Health Care: The Evidence Base, pp. 14-22.

15. The King’s Fund, 2012. Introduction. Leadership and Engagement for Improvement in the NHS: Together We Can, pp. 2-11.

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