As registered nurses, we often wonder "am I responsible for the L.P.N's and the C.N.A. assigned on my floor. Will I be blamed if someone makes an error or if someone gets hurt? Nurses should be aware of their responsibility and accountability.
Accountability is defined as a commitment to others to deliver and account for a result by a given date. It is a legal responsibility; in nursing it is an ethical and moral responsibility, within the realm of the profession. Accountability is the quality of being answerable for outcomes. As nurses we are expected to provide the highest quality care possible. Nurses have accountability to the client and the nursing profession. Nurses have the knowledge, training and skills needed to take care of the patient. If they carry out a task they are not trained to do they can be held liable. "Nurses and nursing staff take the responsibility for the care they provide and answer for their own judgment and actions. They carry out these actions in a way that is agreed with their patients, and the families and carers of their patients and in a way that meets the requirements of their professional bodies and the law."
Nurses are accountable to meet all standards of the profession. No duties should be done outside the scope of nursing practice. The American Nurses Association's (ANA's) Code of Ethics for nurses expresses the moral commitment to uphold the goals, values, and distinct ethical obligations of all nurses. As a nurse it is your responsibility to uphold with current standard of practice. Responsibility is defined as the reliability, dependability, and the obligation to accomplish work.
Resposibility can be shared. The ANA states in its code that nurse will assume accountability for nursing judgment and actions.