Nursing is a unique profession and should not be mistaken with medicine or other allied profession in the health sector. Although many people confuse nursing to be just a profession that is subordinate to other professions in the health sector, nursing is a unique profession with its professional concepts that are different from other professions. Its unique body of knowledge and unique definition gives it a distinction from other professions. In aIDition, its characteristic of blending many concepts found in other professions makes nursing a unique profession. This essay defines nursing as a profession that is different from other professions like law and medicine.
According to the American Nurses Association (ANA) (2014), nursing is the promotion,protection and the optimization of abilities and health, prevention of injury and illness, treatment of human response, advocacy in the care of communities, families and individuals, and, alleviation of suffering trough diagnosis and treatment of disease. A famous nurse theorist, Virginia Handerson, defined nursing as being the unique function to have the passion to assist an individual perform the activities that they can perform unaided (Wheeler, 2013). As can be appreciated from these definitions, nursing is a unique profession with unique functions, that can be distinguished from other professions.
Nursing is a unique, distinct, self-governing profession (ANA, 2014). Nursing has many distinct practical features that make it unique and different from other professions like medicine. It should not be mistaken. According to the Miriam Webster dictionary, a profession is a chosen, paid occupation that requires prolonged training and a method of formal qualification. Nursing meets all these features. Those who dispute the validity of nursing as a profession argue that nurses have less practical power as compared to their counterparts in the medical profession. However, they have not considered that nurses have a wide, unique role in patient advocacy in aIDition to their extensive medical expertise. In aIDition to a unique professional body of knowledge and scope of practice, nurses are prepared to have knowledge in social fields to enable them effectively carry tasks like patient education and pain management, wound care and counseling.
Special education and a distinct curriculum are other theoretical features that distinguish nursing from other professions. For one to be enrolled in a nursing course, one should demonstrate a high-level of academic knowledge and passion for the profession. For one to be registered as a nurse, one should fulfill the professional, academic requirements set out by the state of federal government (Timofeeva, 2002). In every state, there are regulatory authorities that oversee the professional requirements for one to be registered as a nurse. This points to the sensitivity of the nursing profession, and outlays the fact that nursing is not just another profession, but a distinct profession. In aIDition, there are distinctions within the profession itself as per academic qualifications. For example, a nurse prepared under the graduate degree nursing program has a wider scope of practice than a nurse prepared under the diploma program. In regard to academics also, there are recognized specializations in the nursing profession. For example, distinguished nurse researchers, some of whom re holders of Ph.Ds, write nursing academic literature that is used to teach nursing students.
In terms of practice, nurses have distinct hallmarks of practice (Timofeeva, 2002). An example is in the United States, where states have acknowledged the need to have the malpractice liability and code of ethics for nurses distinct from that of physicians. Although this is limited by the social, legal and economic limits for nurses, it has helped depict nursing as a distinct profession that is not dependent on other professions like medicine.
In the organizational setting, the nursing staff is managed by nurses (Timofeeva, 2002). The old culture where the nursing staff is managed by physicians is now outdated. The chain of command from the lowest to the highest in the nursing department is composed of nurses. In regard to such Organogram, nurses do not report to physicians, but to fellow nurses who rank higher than them in the organizational chart. The other organizational settings where nurses work,have nurses practicing independently. For example, in physician’s offices, public schools and other public settings, nurses practice autonomously under their scope of practice. However, it is important to recognize that many people, especially stakeholders in the health sector, have not been appropriately informed about the autonomy of the nursing profession. In aIDition, gender issues in nursing remain a challenge, with more than ninety percent of nurses being female. Such issues have, to some extent, stagnated the efforts by nurses to champion for the autonomy of the nursing profession.
In sum, the nursing profession is an independent profession, with distinct features of autonomy in many fronts. The curriculum for nurses is different. In organizational settings, nurses are managed by an autonomous chain of command that is run by nurses. The registration and accreditation requirements for nurses are also distinct. Just like other professions like medicine and law, the nursing profession has its specializations. The nursing profession is, thus, an independent field.
American Nurses Association (ANA). (2014). What is nursing? Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/especiallyforyou/what-is-nursing
Timofeeva,A. A. (2002). The nursing profession: Description and issues. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Publishers.
Wheeler, H. (2013). Law, ethics and professional issues for nursing: A reflective ad portfolio building approach. Abingdon, Oxon, OX: Routledge
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