Professional Needs of Nursing Home Residents

A provocative question to consider is… what are the professional nursing needs of nursing home residents? The response should reveal the role and responsibilities of registered nurses in nursing homes.

To help you consider this question, on the list below, click the nursing home residents’ needs that would require a registered nurse. When done, click ‘Submit.’

The residents’ needs that are associated with needing a registered nurse have two things in common: further assessment and clinical decision making.

This exercise underscores that there will be many opportunities for students—in nursing home settings—to develop their competency in meeting the professional nursing needs of residents. Even though the nursing care may seem ‘routine’ to nursing students, and even look like roles and responsibilities of nursing assistants or licensed practical nurses, students will need guidance and coaching from faculty to understand and appreciate the perspective that a professional nurse brings to addressing the needs of nursing home residents. Examining the important role of registered nurses in delegation and supervision also relates to how the professional nursing care needs are met for nursing home residents.

Having established that nursing home residents have professional nursing needs, the way nursing care delivery is currently organized in many nursing home environments may prevent residents from receiving the professional nursing care that is needed. If a nursing home has very few RNs and/or uses the RNs mostly in administrative roles, faculty may want to carefully evaluate if that nursing home is the right place for student learning. Further, if there is very little acknowledgement of the difference between the competencies and responsibilities of RNs and LPNs in the nursing home, faculty may need to be cautious about that setting for student learning.

Question for reflection...

What questions might you ask directors of nursing to understand how the professional nursing needs of residents are addressed in their facility?