Nursing Professionalism

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What is Nursing Professionalism?
Cathy Soto
Nursing 408 Transitions in Professional Nursing
Linda Jacobson
9/21/2011

Abstract
According to Maister (1997) "true professionalism means the pursuit of excellence, not just competence". Nurses must be competent in their pursuit of excellence. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Position Statement, rapidly expanding clinical knowledge and mounting complexities in health care mandate that professional nurses possess educational preparation commensurate with the diversified responsibilities required of them. Preparation of the entry level professional nurse requires a greater orientation to community-based primary health care and an emphasis on health promotion, maintenance, and cost-effective coordinated care. (Blais & Hayes, 2011, p. 4) While nursing is an ever changing profession, we must be diligent in promoting and maintaining professionalism in every avenue of our careers. Many factors can influence the way one might view nursing, whether it is family or just needing a job. The way I feel about nursing as a profession is reflected in the two articles I chose to review. Integrating the Core Professional Values of Nursing: A Profession, Not Just a Career written by Holly K. Shaw and Cynthia DeGazon published in The Journal of Cultural Diversity and Does competency based nursing point to the death of nursing as a profession? an editorial written by Rachel B. Leaver published in International Journal of Urological Nursing, 2009. Shaw and Degazon (2008, p. 44) describe the core professional values as a "foundation that gives meaning to the professional practice of nursing and unites students and nurses in a collective culture." Professionalism is the basis of the practice of nursing. As a profession nurses need to be educated in caring for an ever changing society. Education is a foundation to improving and growing as a professional nurse. Nurses must also maintain their compassionate care and responsibility to the patients and families that are entrusted to them.

What is Nursing Professionalism?
Nursing professionalism to me is demonstrated in a person's core values of one's self and how they perceive the care of another human being. Nurses care for the sick and dying, as well as advocate for the well being of human life. Nurses must be professional when treating or educating patients and family members. One must respect the full value of a person's dignity. As nurses we collaborate together with other professionals to promote what is best for the care of our patients. Continuing education and the process of learning new and improved ways of completing old tasks is a step towards excellence. Nurses must always strive for continued excellence to advance the profession of nursing. Professions have a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be operationalized as standards of practice. Establishing and implementing standards of practice are major functions of a professional organization, and the purpose is to describe that for which nurses are accountable. (Blais & Hayes, 2011). As nurses we must follow and adhere to the Nurse Practice Act. We have to preserve the profession of nursing by practicing values such as autonomy, altruism, integrity, dignity, collaboration, social justice, and excellence. Nurses have to sustain competencies to care for patients appropriately but not lose the art of nursing. There is always room for improvement in any profession whether it be the person who picks up the garbage on a weekly basis or the nurse who cares for the dying cancer patient. Improvement of one's self is of utmost importance. Education should be of highest priority to improve skills, and maintain competency for the treatment of patients. As nurses we need to be involved in the advancement of our profession. According to Maister (1997) contributing to the success of others should be a primary requirement of all...
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