Role of Professional Development

The scope and standards of practice guide the nursing profession in competence and performance expectations. The scope of practice for nursing defines the activities that a person licensed as a nurse is permitted to perform while the standards of practice delineate performance expectations for all registered nurses. Review Chapter 3, “The Nursing Workforce,” of The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity, located in the Topic 2 Resources, and compare the scope of practice and differentiated practice competencies of licensed practical nurses (LPNs), registered nurses (RNs), and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). Review “Scope of Nursing Practice” from Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, located in the Topic 2 Resources. Standard 12 of the standards of practice describes the nurse’s role related to education. Explain the role of professional development (life-long learning) in the context of this standard.

Initial discussion question posts should be a minimum of 200 words and include at least two references cited using APA format. Responses to peers or faculty should be 100-150 words and include one reference. Refer to “RN-BSN Discussion Question Rubric” and “RN-BSN Participation Rubric,” located in Class Resources, to understand the expectations for initial discussion question posts and participation posts, respectively.

role of professional development

In delineating the scope of practice and differentiated competencies across various levels of nursing, it becomes evident how each role contributes uniquely to patient care within the healthcare system. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), Registered Nurses (RNs), and Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) each possess distinct scopes of practice and competencies.

LPNs, under the supervision of RNs or physicians, typically provide basic nursing care such as taking vital signs, administering medications, and assisting with patient hygiene. Their scope of practice is more task-oriented and focused on direct patient care.

RNs, with a broader scope of practice, are responsible for coordinating patient care, performing assessments, developing care plans, and educating patients and families. They also supervise LPNs and other support staff, ensuring quality care delivery.

APRNs, including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives, have advanced education and training, allowing them to diagnose illnesses, prescribe medications, and manage patient care independently or collaboratively with other healthcare professionals. Their scope of practice involves a higher level of autonomy and responsibility.

Professional development, or lifelong learning, is crucial for nurses at all levels, aligning with Standard 12 of the standards of practice which addresses the nurse’s role related to education. Continuous learning allows nurses to stay abreast of advancements in healthcare, refine their skills, and adapt to evolving patient needs and healthcare practices. Through professional development activities such as attending conferences, pursuing further education, participating in workshops, or engaging in evidence-based practice, nurses enhance their knowledge and competencies, ultimately improving patient outcomes and fulfilling their role as educators within the healthcare team.


  1. National Council of State Boards of Nursing. (2015). Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (3rd ed.).
  2. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2021). The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity. The National Academies Press.
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