Nursing as a Profession

1479 Words Sep 15th, 2012 6 Pages
Nursing as a Profession From the dawn of time nursing has existed, in one form or another. Because healthcare varies between cultures, nurses have historically taken on many different roles: a folk healer, a healer with religious ties, and that of a servant (Ellis & Hartley, 2012). Because of these various roles, some may not realize, or accept, that nursing has evolved into a much needed profession. This essay will discuss what a profession is, the criteria needed to be present in order to be considered a profession, and the reasons why nursing should be considered a profession.
Criteria of a Profession In order to understand why I consider nursing a profession, you must first understand the meaning of the word. There are many
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Nurses are the go-between of the doctor and the patient, and their main concern is the patient’s well-being. For example, it has been shown that adequate staffing of nurses affects the outcome of patient’s hospitalizations. Dr. Jack Needleman and colleagues found that “insufficient nurse staffing was related to higher patient mortality rates” (as cited in American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), 2011). This statistic, along with similar findings in several other research studies, proves that nurses do indeed provide an essential service to society.
Has a Theoretical Body of Knowledge. The learning of theories and how to apply those theories to practice is the basis of this criterion. This involves being able to identify the problem and which solutions, based on learned theories, may work for that problem (Clarke & Winch, 2004). The processes used in this problem identification differ for each occupation. Nurses, who gain their knowledge of theories during their formal schooling, have a process that is unique to the nursing field. It is called the nursing process. This process is “an interactive, problem-solving process and a systemic and individualized way to achieve the outcomes of nursing care” (Stuart, p. 151, 2009). The nursing process includes assessment of the situation, diagnosis of the problem, planning which of the learned theories will be effective for the problem, implementing the steps of the
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