The Perception Of The Nursing Profession

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Like any scientific discipline, the nursing profession has evolved over time. Nurses, once regarded as housemaids and lower class citizens, now hold positions of authority and stature in our modern society. These changes in the profession are attributed to the many nurse theorists who devoted their lives to the improvement of patient care. Through their theoretical advancements, the public perception of nursing has gone from dismissive to reverential. Today, our culture considers the nursing profession to be one of the most rewarding and respected career paths an individual can pursue. Through a review of one such patient theorist, Dorothea Orem, one can witness this change in the perception of the nursing profession. As a first semester student in a professional nursing course of study, Orem has already influenced my personal nursing philosophy. Definition of Professional Nursing Merriam Webster defines a profession as “a type of job that requires special education, training, or skill” or “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.” Respectively, the American Nurses Association (2010c) currently defines nursing as “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (p.10). Combining the definitions
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