Our rapidly changing social structure has resulted in
significant advances in medical knowledge. With this increasing knowledge, it
is inevitable that the delegation of new responsibilities will eventually lead
to nurses obtaining new roles and responsibilities. However, due to these
medical and technological advancements, people are leading a longer life due to
less sickness. Therefore, the ageing population can be seen as one of the
biggest challenges facing the 21st century nurse.  (Musallem 1969) By 2039, it is estimated that
the number of people aged 85 and over in Wales will increase by 127%. This increase
will result in increasing numbers of age related conditions. (PHWO 2018) Consequently,
nurses are having to recognise that nursing is no longer seen as the short-term
treatment of patients, but as a profession that treats long-term health
problems, increases dependence and maximises potential wellbeing. (Long et al 2002)

The role of the nurse has evolved and expanded considerably
in response to the changing delivery of healthcare and introduction of new
theories, models and frameworks. (Roper et al 1980). Florence Nightingale initiated the early
development of the nurse in the 1800’s by using observation and practical
experience to reform nursing. She was the first woman to use statistical
information and therefore laid down the foundations for evidence based care and
nursing as a profession. (Roux & Halstead 2009). Mrs Bedford Fenwick
contributed to Nightingale’s work by publicising the need for nurse registration.
She created the British Nurses Association in 1887 to ensure that nurses were
to have no less than 3 years hospital training. (Witz & Annandale 1994) These
prominent figures in nursing history have therefore created criteria needed for
professionalism. This is shown today as the use of the title ‘registered nurse’
is protected by the law. Students must undertake the education required and
achieve the necessary qualifications needed to be a professional nurse. (RCN
2014) This assignment will explore how professional bodies such as the Nursing
and Midwifery Council (NMC) use frameworks such as the 4 Themes of The Code (NMC
2015) to influence and monitor nurses, professionally, legally and ethically.

The NMC exists to protect the public by ensuring that all
nurses and midwives adhere to the values and principles presented in the code
in any given situation. (NMC 2015)

Prioritise People

Prioritising people is paramount within nursing. The code
highlights the importance of recognising diversity, personal choice and to
avoid making assumptions. (NMC 2015) In an increasingly cultural diverse
population, nurses must be able to adapt nursing care to fit with those who may
have different cultural values and beliefs and so without the awareness of
diversity within healthcare, the patients safety can jeopardized. (Jeffreys 2008) Although the
NHS Constitution (Department of Health 2013) offers a comprehensive service to
all ‘irrespective of gender, race, disability, age, sexual orientation,
religion, belief, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity or marital or
civil partnership status,’ stigmatisation and failure to provide non-discriminatory
care still occurs.

By being non-judgemental the nurse follows the moral and
ethical principle of justice and treating patients in an equitable way.

 The Equality Act
(2010), which has combined previous anti-discriminatory laws within a single
Act, aims to legally protect all from discrimination in the workplace or

The nurse can be described as the client advocate as the
role has developed gradually, from the traditional view of curing patients, to
that of caring. (Winslow 1984) Health care is being transformed from a disease
model of care to one that focuses on human flourishing. The Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act (PPAC 2010) made clear that health professionals must
work together to treat the patient holistically and so nurses must work
autonomously and collaboratively to ensure sustainable public health. (Dossey &
Keegan 2013)  




Upholding patients’ dignity is a critical element of
prioritising people. The Fundamentals of Care (2003) state that all humans
should have the basic human rights to ‘dignity, privacy and informed choice.’  The Human Rights Act …The Francis report is an
example of when these act and guidelines are not adhered to and dignity was
clearly not upheld. Findings showed the appalling standards of care found at
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust as well as the inability of staff to be
empathic and compassionate. (Francis Report 2013)