Nursing as a Profession

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Nursing as a Profession
The Purpose of this paper is to discuss whether nursing is a profession based on Pavalko’s eight dimensions describing a profession. Firstly, we must understand the definition of a profession before one can accurately judge the validation of the nursing profession. According to Webster dictionary, the definition of a profession is “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long academic preparation” (Webster dictionary, 2008). The nursing profession is one that needs specialized knowledge and training. It also applies to an occupation that requires formal education or qualification. The nursing field includes a set of skills that combines flexibility, creativity, knowledge and communication that are learnt in a formal setting. As we analyze Pavalko’s eight dimensions describing a profession, we will incorporate it into the nursing profession to justify or disprove if nursing is truly a profession.

A profession has relevance to social values. The nursing profession is rooted in its ability to serve all people with their acquired skills. The nursing profession has the power to make a huge difference in today’s health care system. They advocate for the individuals and focuses not only on the treatment component of an individual, but also on prevention and health promotion. They also seek for the protecting of human and legal rights and the securing of adequate care based on the notion that the patient has the right to make informed decisions about their health. According to nursing standards (2010) “people value nurses but do not understand how complex the profession has become and how key nurses are to the health care. Nurses are devoted to patient care and community involvement as a whole. The nursing profession provides various activities in the community as a whole such as volunteering for health – related activities such as screening, blood drives and educational programs. They serve as role models for health practices and healthy lifestyles. With these given attributes I believe the nursing profession has relevance to social values.

A profession has a training or educational period. There are various education preparations for the nursing practice and it various based on the location, length of time, course work, clinical component, advance educational opportunities, and competencies on graduation. The three main type of educational programs that lead to licensure as an RN includes the diploma, associate degree, and baccalaureate programs. The diploma requires a basic nursing education in a 3-year, hospital based diploma school of nursing. The Associate degree nursing (ADN), based on a research project carried out by Dr Mildred Montag in the 1950s, at the time there was a shortage of nurses, and the project was created to meet the needs of society by preparing nurses in less time than was required in diploma program (Taylor, Lillis, Lemone and Lynn, 2008). The Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN) is geared towards building on a general educational base, with concentration on nursing at the upper level. All graduates of these programs are mandated to take an NCLEX-RN examination set by the board of nursing. It is much different from nursing school exams which are knowledge based. The NCLEX-RN exams are application based which test one’s ability to be able to think critically as to make nursing judgments. The nursing profession incorporates specialized skill and application of knowledge based on theory and clinical practice components. It is also an evidence based practice based on research and not just intuition. Given these criteria, I believe the nursing field qualifies as a profession because of the training and educational period.

Elements of self-motivation address the way in which the profession serves the patient or family and larger social system. The American Nurses Association (ANA) has been involved in advocating for health...
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