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
References: Ellis, J. Ryder and Hartley, C. Lover (2008) Nursing in Today’s World, Trends, Issues and Management. (9th Ed) Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. Hooper, Vallire D. (2011) The IOM Report on the Future of Nursing What it means for you. Journal of PeriAnesthesia Nursing: Vol 26. Page129-131 Klass, A. (1961). Viewpoints: What is A Profession? Can Med Associate, September 16; 85(12) 698–701 McIntyre M. & Thomlinson E. (2002) Realities of Canadian Nursing: Professional, Practice, and Power Issues. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA. Page 61-79