Professional Characteristics of Nursing and the ANA Scope & Standards of Practice

Topics: Nursing, Nurse, Florence Nightingale Pages: 3 (546 words) Published: February 15, 2014
What characteristics make nursing a profession and why?

One definition of a professional is, according to, “4 a: a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation” (retrieved from The initial movement towards establishment of professional standards for nursing care began with Florence Nightingale and the application of scientific method. Prior to the work done by Nightingale, the term “nurse” applied to any and all who were charged with providing care to the ill regardless of ability. Nightingale advocated for nurses trained in observational skills informed by a unique body of knowledge (Black, 2014). Through the ensuing decades, various nursing theorists have contributed towards the expansion of that unique body of knowledge.

The basic preparation required to enter the profession of nursing, through licensure, may be obtained at the baccalaureate, associates, or diploma level of education. This allows the novice nurse to gain further experience prior to pursuing further education. There are pathways to higher education, such as Master’s and Doctoral programs, to prepare the practitioner for roles in advanced practice, research, or in academia (ANA, 2010).

Nursing is regulated by legislation, requiring licensure and establishing parameters within which the individual may practice. The stated mission of the Ohio Board of Nursing is to, “actively safeguard the health of the public through the effective regulation of nursing care” (retrieved from Nursing is also guided by professional organizations, such as the American Nurses Association. The ANA regularly publishes various materials, including Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, to guide the nursing profession (ANA, 2010).

As with other professions, Nursing has a code of ethics to guide practice and professional behaviors (ANA, 2010). The...

References: American Nurses Association (2010). Nursing: Scope and standards of practice (2nd Ed.). Silver Spring, MD:
Black, B.P. (©2014). Professional nursing: Concepts & challenges. (7th Ed.). St. Louis, MO: Saunders
Merriam-Webster Online: Dictionary and Thesaurus (n.d.). Retrieved Feb. 7, 2014, from
Ohio Board of Nursing Website (n.d.). Retrieved Feb. 7, 2014, from
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