Discuss whether nursing is a profession or an occupation. What can current and future nurses do to enhance nursing's standing as a profession?
Nursing is a profession. According to McEwen and Wills (2014) “profession is a learned vocation or occupation that has a status of superiority and precedence within a division of work” (p. 2). I believe this describes nursing but needed more evidence to make my decision. I considered the “characteristics of a profession: a defined and specialized knowledge base, control and authority over training and education, credentialing system, altruistic service to society, formal training within institutions of higher education, lengthy socialization to the profession and autonomy” (McEwen & Wills, 2014, p.2). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing ("NCSBN Home," n.d.) help to define the nursing knowledge base, have authority over training by requiring that training at institutions of higher education meet the standards of approval by boards of nursing and that nurses graduating from an approved nursing program are clinically competent to practice nursing by passing the national council licensure exam ("NCLEX Examinations," n.d.). Nursing at its core is an altruistic profession. Altruism is defined as “feelings and behavior that show a desire to help other people and a lack of selfishness” ("Altruism - Merriam-Webster Dictionary," n.d.). Nurses provide care because it is needed and not because the nurse will have personal gains from providing such care. Autonomy in nursing can be viewed as a partnership in a multi-disciplinary team in which each member has a different skill set and working together the patient receives the best possible care. Each member works independently and inter-dependently to meet the varied and unique needs of each individual patient. Nursing as a profession meets or exceeds each characteristic of a profession in my view.
Experienced nurses need to help grow the skills and...
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