Definition of Nursing
Nursing has been variously defined throughout the ages and it has meant different things to different people thought the ages. Nursing like any other discipline, borders on gut feeling and intuition; the nursing profession was not clearly defined during its genesis. As we see today, nurses complement the role of the physician in the execution of their medical duties. The nurses therefore follow through in treating a pathological problem. Therefore, early physicians must have gotten some help. “One might assume that a family member, particularly, the wife must have provided needed care.” (Ellis & Hartley, 2008, pp. 130). The perception of nursing as a profession is still haunted by three conventional wisdoms. According Ellis & Hartley (2008), these three heritages are the folk image, religious and servitude. The early religious perception presented nurses as instrument of a godly mission to care of the sick. This perspective of nursing has today being inculcated into the career of nursing from the stand point of a profession. For example, at the Virginia Hospital Center where I did my maternity nursing clinical, they have nursing health care titles like patient care director and patient care assistant. According to Ellis & Hartley (2008), a nurse educator, defined nursing as, the unique function of the individual nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of those activities contributing to the health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge. And to do this in a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible (Ellis & Hartley, 2008 pp. 150). An outline of criteria common to all profession All disciplines that are called profession meet the following criteria: * Possess of a body of specialized knowledge.
* Use of scientific method to enlarge the body of knowledge * Education within the institutions of higher learning. * Control of professional policy, professional activity and autonomy * A code of ethics
* Nursing as a life time commitment
* Service to the public (Ellis & Hartley, 2008 pp. 152). Discuss the aspect/Values of a profession that nursing fulfills Looking at the outlined criteria common to all professions nursing and based on my clinical and theoretical knowledge of nursing I can safely endorses the professionalism of nursing. According to (Klass, A, 1961), A profession is a self-selected, self-disciplined group of individuals who holds themselves out to the public as possessing a special skill derived from education and training and who are prepared to exercise that skill primarily in the interact of other (Klass, A, 1961, pp.698). This definition of profession of nursing is in my opinion is consistent with what nurse practice from a holistic perspective. Nursing possess a body of specialized knowledge. According to Ellis & Hartley (2008), nursing researchers work to develop an organized body of knowledge unique to nursing alone with a language which is only consistent with nursing practice. “As this body of knowledge expands, this criterion is more nearly met” (Ellis & Hartley, 2008 pp152). Education within institution of higher learning is another vale that defines a profession that nursing fulfills. For example according to the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), nurse leaders need to prioritize having nurses with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing or higher to meet the international organization of nursing. This criterion will make nurses to practice to the full extent of their education and training. This is professionalism. Another value of a profession that nursing fulfills is the perception of nursing as a lifetime commitment. According to McIntyre M. & Thomlinson E (2002), most nurses view themselves as...
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McIntyre M. & Thomlinson E. (2002) Realities of Canadian Nursing: Professional, Practice, and Power Issues. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. Page 61-79
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