Nursing as a Profession The Purpose of this paper is to discuss whether nursing is a profession based on Pavalko’s eight dimensions describing a profession. Firstly, we must understand the definition of a profession before one can accurately judge the validation of the nursing profession. According to Webster dictionary, the definition of a profession is “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long academic preparation” (Webster dictionary, 2008).
The nursing profession is one that needs specialized knowledge and training. It also applies to an occupation that requires formal education or qualification. The nursing field includes a set of skills that combines flexibility, creativity, knowledge and communication that are learnt in a formal setting. As we analyze Pavalko’s eight dimensions describing a profession, we will incorporate it into the nursing profession to justify or disprove if nursing is truly a profession. A profession has relevance to social values.
The nursing profession is rooted in its ability to serve all people with their acquired skills. The nursing profession has the power to make a huge difference in today’s health care system. They advocate for the individuals and focuses not only on the treatment component of an individual, but also on prevention and health promotion. They also seek for the protecting of human and legal rights and the securing of adequate care based on the notion that the patient has the right to make informed decisions about their health.
According to nursing standards (2010) “people value nurses but do not understand how complex the profession has become and how key nurses are to the health care. Nurses are devoted to patient care and community involvement as a whole. The nursing profession provides various activities in the community as a whole such as volunteering for health – related activities such as screening, blood drives and educational programs. They serve as role models for health practices and healthy lifestyles. With these given attributes I believe the nursing rofession has relevance to social values. A profession has a training or educational period. There are various education preparations for the nursing practice and it various based on the location, length of time, course work, clinical component, advance educational opportunities, and competencies on graduation. The three main type of educational programs that lead to licensure as an RN includes the diploma, associate degree, and baccalaureate programs. The diploma requires a basic nursing education in a 3-year, hospital based diploma school of nursing.
The Associate degree nursing (ADN), based on a research project carried out by Dr Mildred Montag in the 1950s, at the time there was a shortage of nurses, and the project was created to meet the needs of society by preparing nurses in less time than was required in diploma program (Taylor, Lillis, Lemone and Lynn, 2008). The Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) is geared towards building on a general educational base, with concentration on nursing at the upper level. All graduates of these programs are mandated to take an NCLEX-RN examination set by the board of nursing.
It is much different from nursing school exams which are knowledge based. The NCLEX-RN exams are application based which test one’s ability to be able to think critically as to make nursing judgments. The nursing profession incorporates specialized skill and application of knowledge based on theory and clinical practice components. It is also an evidence based practice based on research and not just intuition. Given these criteria, I believe the nursing field qualifies as a profession because of the training and educational period.
Elements of self-motivation address the way in which the profession serves the patient or family and larger social system. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has been involved in advocating for health care reforms for many years, in order to guarantee high-quality health care for all. Today, with the increase cost of health care, under insured and uninsured individual there has been disparities in the quality and health care for individuals. The ANA saw the efforts of many registered nurses come to fruition, culminating in President Obama’s signing of H.
R. 4872, “The Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act of 2010” (McNamara, 2010). This reform allows for greater protection against losing and denial of health care coverage, and it also allows for better access to primary care, wellness and prevention programs which will keep the patient healthier. This reform serves as a significant victory for the patient that the nursing profession serves. The ANA continues to be an advocate for building an affordable health care system that meets the needs of everyone (McNamara, 2010).
In world where nurses are under pressure to deliver production-line care, it expresses the value of the “soft” aspect of caring that affect wellbeing (Wright, 2009). This attribute proves that the nursing profession is a profession that serves the patient and the larger social system. A profession has a code of ethics. Professional ethics and codes of ethics are the primary means for expressing the values and regulating the conduct of professionals in relation to their clients (Liaschenko, Peter, 2004). The ANA house of delegate adopted and first published the nursing code of ethics in the 1950’s.
It has then been altered and revised to meet the changes in the profession and in society. The “Code” is the foundation upon which registered nurses provide care, it provides a framework for decision-making and basically guides the action of the registered nurse (Rafferty, 2010). It is a non-negotiable ethical standard that expresses the nurse’s own understanding of commitment to the society. The nursing profession qualifies as a profession because it has a code of standard that guides its existence. A professional has a commitment to a lifelong work.
The term nursing is derived from the word nurse, which means one that nourishes, foster, protect the sick, injured and restore health. The nursing profession is considered a career and not a job which involves commitment, promotes growth and increases various levels of responsibilities. The profession provides gratification for the individual’s personal accomplishment rather than entirely from a paycheck. The nursing profession has four main aims that define it. They aim to promote health, prevent illness, restore health, and facilitate coping with disability or death.
The nurses can successfully achieve these aims through acquired knowledge, skills and critical thinking in order to give care in a variety of traditional and expanding nursing roles (Taylor, Lillis, Lemone and Lynn, 2008). The nursing profession is a profession that has a commitment to a lifelong work. Members control their profession. The nursing profession is autonomous as the nursing board in each state has set up rules and guidelines that nurses are required to adhere strictly (Orem, 2008). There are numerous professional organization that set standards for the nursing practice and education.
These entities are set up to help maintain the code of ethics that guides the nursing profession. The registered nurses work under professional and legislative control. The state board of each state set practice act for the registered nurse. These organizations helps to maintain the code of ethics, promote the registered nurse profession to the public, advocate for both the patient and other members of the organization and help to set a standard of practice for the profession. It also serves as a platform where one’s voice can be heard.
Organizations such as the American Nurses Association (ANA), The American Association of Critical-care nurses (AACN), The National League for Nursing (NLN), The National Student Nurse’s Association (NSNA) and the National Black Nurses Association (NBNA ) are just a few of the professional organization that plays a significant role in empowering nurses in the nursing profession and also helping to facilitate network. They educate its members to incorporate client interaction, personal interaction with the public, public speaking and community activities and participation in political activities to be effective in the field of nursing.
Overall, I believe the nursing profession qualifies as a profession because it has members that control the profession. A Profession has theoretical framework on which professional practice is based. The nursing field has always been evidence based. The first nursing theory was born in the 1950’s. In 1952, Dr. Hildegard Peplau published a nursing model that described the importance of the “therapeutic relationship” in health and wellness (Zerwekh and Claborn, 2009). Thereafter, other nursing theorist such as Martha Rogers, Dorothy Johnson, Nola Pender, Lydia hall, sister Callista Roy, Dorothea Orem, and Betty
Neuman have contributed to theory based nursing. The Theory-based nursing is geared towards a common goal with the ultimate outcome resulting in improved patient care. It provides rational and knowledgeable reasons for nursing actions, based on organized written description of what nursing is and what nurses do (Taylor, Lillis, Lemone and Lynn, 2008). Members of a profession have a common identity and a distinctive subculture. In the past, nurses have been identified by the white gown, shoe, cap and pin. They were identified mostly by how they look instead of what they did.
The modern-day trend emphasizes that it is not what is worn but what is done that reflects one’s role in the nursing profession (Zerwekh and Claborn, 2009). The nursing profession has a distinctive subculture that is identifiable. These include affiliation with alumni association, student nurses association, and nursing honor societies or clubs. Involvements in such organization provides for social interaction and networking in later years. The BSN nurse plays a variety of roles in relation to patient care such as being a caregiver, teacher, advocate, manager, colleague and expert.
The role of the caregiver is the primary role of a nurse which includes promoting wellness through activities that prevent illness, restore health, function as a nurturer, comforter and provider, provide direct, promote comfort of client and showing concern for client welfare and acceptance of the client as an individual. As a teacher, the BSN nurse must use his or her communication skills to implement, asses, evaluate and execute individual teaching plan to meet the learning needs of the patient and the family (Zerwekh and Claborn, 2009).
The role of the nurse as an advocate involves choosing the best plan of action on behalf of the client by making sure that their needs are met and protecting their human and legal right. They also provide detailed and understandable explanation and information to support the client’s decision. The nurse as a manager helps to make decisions, plan, instruct, evaluate care, and coordinate activities and representation of the staff and health care facilities as needed. The role of a colleague is an important role in the nursing field.
It deals with effective communication and conflict management amongst peers working towards a purposeful goal to provide adequate care for the client and other synergy among other health care professionals. The nurse as an expert specializes in a specific area of practice acquired through advanced formal or informal education. They include researchers, clinician, educators, theorist and leaders within the nursing profession. They share information with other nurses through mentoring, continuing-education programs, writing articles and guest-speaking.
Overall, the bsn nurse must embrace the roles that provide a wealth of knowledge about the ever evolving field of nursing. In conclusion, the nursing profession is definitely a profession based on Pavalko’s eight dimensions describing a profession. It has relevance to social values, requires training or educational period, self motivating to serve the patient and their family and the larger social system, guided by a code of ethics, commitment to a lifelong work, members control their profession, has a theoretical framework and have a common identity and a distinctive subculture.
It is a true profession that is considered the largest and most powerful of all the health care professionals. References Ajiboye, Peace. (2010). Profession’s popular image. Nursing Standard, 24(25), 14. Liaschenko, J, & Peter, E. (2004). Nursing ethics and conceptualization of nursing: profession, practice and work. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46(5), 488-95. McNamara, M. (2010, March 30). Ana’s nurses’ efforts pay off in historic health care bill signing. American Nurses Association, Retrieved from www. nursingworld. rg Orem, O. (2008, February 8). “What’s in a name? ” Chinese Medicine Therapy, Retrieved fromhttp://www. chinesemedicinetherapy. com/nursing. Taylor, C, Lillis, C. , LeMone, P. & Lynn, P. (2008). Fundamentals of Nursing: The Art & Science of Nursing Care (6th ed. ). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Wright, Steven. (2009). The Ethics of care. Nursing standards, 24(8), 26-27. Zerwekh, J. , & Clayborn, J. (2009). Nursing today transition and trends (6th ed. ). St. Lois: Missouri. Saunders Elsevier.