Nursing Is A Profession Essay, Research Paper
Nursing is a profession that blends the rich traditions of the past with the ever changing realities of today’s health care industry. Nursing is not simply an assortment of special skills and the nurse is not simply a person proficient in performing these specific tasks. Nursing is a profession. I believe this statement to be true because of several factors. The Title 19 Code for Nurses is titled “Standards for Professional Nursing Practice”. The status of nursing as a profession reflects the values that society places on the work of nurses and how central nursing is to the good of society. “By being a professional we imply that the person is conscientious in actions, knowledgeable in the subject and responsible to self and others.” (Potter & Perry, 1993, p. 27)
Flexner’s characteristics of a true profession are:
Is basically intellectual (as opposed to physical)
Is based on a body of knowledge that can be learned
Is practical, rather than theoretical
Can be taught through the process of professional education
Has a strong internal organization of members
Has practitioners who are motivated by altruism (the desire to help others)
(Creasia & Parker,1996, p. 48)
Although nursing can be a very physical endeavor, it carries with it responsibilities that are strictly intellectual in nature. For instance, walking into a room to assess a patient, you have to have the knowledge of human anatomy, normal characteristics, normal vital signs, normal systems responses, etc. This is all taught and (hopefully) learned in nursing school.
Nursing has a very strong internal organization of nurses that have joined together over the years into organizations such as the American Nursing Association, WVNA, WVSNA, and various other state & national organizations. Not all nursing jobs are physical, some are almost strictly intellectual, such as an educator, case manager, and instructor. There are staff nurses that I work with who are motivated by the fact that they are helping others. They are energized and encouraged by just knowing that the patient’s life was saved by them. This is a motivation for entering the profession and also for staying in it when the work gets rugged and the money tight.
“Brenner (1984) described the 5 stages of development for the professional nurse. The stages are (1) Novice (2) Advance Beginner (3) Competent practitioner (4) Proficient practitioner (5) Expert Practitioner. The stages progress from a nursing student to the professional practitioner through growth and knowledge.” (Lopez-Boyd, 1997, p. 41) Nursing is a profession. Look around you, you see competent, caring individuals on a daily basis, doing the work of nursing.
Creasia, J.L. & Parker, B. (1996). Conceptual foundations of professional nursing practice. St Louis, MS: Mosby Year Book.
Lopez-Boyd, L. (1997). Professional strategies in nursing. Indianapolis, IN: The College Network.
Potter, P.A. & Perry, A.G. (1993). Fundamentals of nursing: concepts, process & practice. 3rd ed. St Louis, MS: Mosby Year Book.