Is Nursing a Profession?
As I have begun the pursuit to further my education I have been faced with the question of whether Nursing is a true profession. During the 19 years that I have been a nurse I have thought nursing was a profession but as I have learned in my reading not everyone feels this way. For example, World Book (1999) states that there are two main groups of nurses, the professional nurses and the technique nurses. They define the professional nurses as graduates of four-year or five-year college programs and the technical nurses as graduates of two-year community colleges or the three-year hospital programs. The American Nurses Association (ANA) offers characteristics of a profession that I plan to show that nursing possesses (Hood and Leddy, 2003). Authority to control its own work is one of these characteristics (Hood and Leddy, 2003). Although nursing is required to follow physician's orders and the rules of the employing agency there are many ways nursing is capable of controlling his/her own work. There is a wide range of opportunity for work and intellectual growth. There is clinical work, teaching, research, and a melding of the three. There are many opportunities within each of those areas. For example in clinical work the nurse may choose from a physician's office, health department, school system, or hospital, to name a few. Within the hospital the nurses continues to have multiple opportunities. Some of these are medical nursing, surgical nursing, obstetrical nursing, pediatric nursing or critical nursing. As nurses we have the freedom to choose from a wide array of scheduling options, full-time, part-time, weekenders or prn. Self-scheduling is also frequently an options. "Accountability has always been acknowledged as one of the hallmarks of a profession" (Hood and Leddy, 2003, p.384). Nursing is accountable to the patient and family to provide the highest quality of care and the knowledge to provide this care. The nurse spends the...
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