N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide Characteristic Behavior of the Profess onal Nu se Self-regulation Self-regulation refers to the ability to control inappropriate impulses and to think before acting. Research on mindfulness training indicates it is a positive strategy for managing an emotionally charged situation. Mindfulness is a process of being aware of the present while keeping distressful thoughts away. People who have developed self-regulation skills continue to respond to human emotions, such as anxiety, anger, and sadness, but do not overreact to them and are able to direct them in positive ways. Lack of self-regulation is seen in the person who has emotional outbursts and who breaks down and cries and is unable to function if criticized. Accountability Accountability refers to being obliged to answer for one’s actions and sometimes, as when certain tasks are delegated, for the action of others. A synonym frequently used for accountability is responsibility. By virtue of the state Nurse Practice Acts, nurses are held responsible or accountable for their actions. This means that nurses must provide the necessary care competently and in compliance with accepted standards, using sound judgment, thinking critically, and delegating wisely. Failure to perform in a responsible manner could result in legal action being taken against the nurse if harm occurs to the patient. Commitment to Lifelong Learning The American Nurses Association states: The nurse owes the same duties to self as to others, including responsibility to preserve integrity and safety, to maintain competence, and to continue personal and professional growth. The ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses further specifies that continual professional growth, particularly in knowledge and skills, requires a commitment to lifelong learning. The ANA suggests lifelong learning opportunities include, but are not limited to, completing continuing education courses, networking with professional colleagues, using self-study materials, reading professional literature, completing certification requirements, and pursuing advanced degrees. The ANA identifies some of the dimensions of lifelong learning, such as current scope and standards of practice, changing issues, concerns, controversies, and ethics. The ANA urges nurses to seek consultation when practice situations arise that are outside of their competencies. The nursing profession should engage in scholarly inquiry to identify, evaluate, refine, and expand the body of knowledge that forms the foundation of its discipline and practice. Nursing knowledge is derived from the sciences and from the humanities. Ongoing scholarly activities are essential to fulfilling a profession’s obligations to society. All nurses working alone or in collaboration with others can participate in the advancement of the profession through the development, evaluation, dissemination, and application of knowledge in practice.