Nursing Professionalism And The Profession Of Nursing

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Nursing, at its inception, was a service provided mostly by women. Far from a profession, it was considered a vocation; often a mere extension of the wife/mother role. Nurses were perceived as servants to the physicians with little power or ability to function independently. The predominant male presence in medicine, lack of formal education offered to nurses, and the subservient nature of the work significantly hindered its professionalization. Over time, as educational standards were created and stereotypical biases were surmounted, nursing slowly began to evolve (Ghadirian, Salsali, & Cheraghi, 2014). Professionalism in nursing encompasses a broad spectrum of core values and characteristics expected of each and every professional registered nurse. As one of the largest and most respected healthcare professionals (Maryland & Gonzalez, 2012), nurses are held to explicit standards first introduced almost 200 years ago. Florence Nightingale, often seen as a pioneer of nursing professionalism, was pivotal in reforming the profession of nursing. Her values of unbiased care, integrity, and respect, among others, were paramount in developing the professional identity of nurses in the 19th century. These values remain at the core of all professional nursing practice today (Selanders & Crane, 2012).
Advocacy and Professionalism Merriam-Webster defines advocacy as the act or process of supporting a cause or a proposal ("Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary,"
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