What is Nursing Professionalism? Cathy Soto Nursing 408 Transitions in Professional Nursing Linda Jacobson 9/21/2011 Abstract According to Maister (1997) “true professionalism means the pursuit of excellence, not just competence”. Nurses must be competent in their pursuit of excellence. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Position Statement, rapidly expanding clinical knowledge and mounting complexities in health care mandate that professional nurses possess educational preparation commensurate with the diversified responsibilities required of them.
Preparation of the entry level professional nurse requires a greater orientation to community-based primary health care and an emphasis on health promotion, maintenance, and cost-effective coordinated care. (Blais & Hayes, 2011, p. 4) While nursing is an ever changing profession, we must be diligent in promoting and maintaining professionalism in every avenue of our careers. Many factors can influence the way one might view nursing, whether it is family or just needing a job. The way I feel about nursing as a profession is reflected in the two articles I chose to review.
Integrating the Core Professional Values of Nursing: A Profession, Not Just a Career written by Holly K. Shaw and Cynthia DeGazon published in The Journal of Cultural Diversity and Does competency based nursing point to the death of nursing as a profession? an editorial written by Rachel B. Leaver published in International Journal of Urological Nursing, 2009. Shaw and Degazon (2008, p. 44) describe the core professional values as a “foundation that gives meaning to the professional practice of nursing and unites students and nurses in a collective culture. Professionalism is the basis of the practice of nursing. As a profession nurses need to be educated in caring for an ever changing society. Education is a foundation to improving and growing as a professional nurse. Nurses must also maintain their compassionate care and responsibility to the patients and families that are entrusted to them. What is Nursing Professionalism? Nursing professionalism to me is demonstrated in a person’s core values of one’s self and how they perceive the care of another human being. Nurses care for the sick and dying, as well as advocate for the well being of human life.
Nurses must be professional when treating or educating patients and family members. One must respect the full value of a person’s dignity. As nurses we collaborate together with other professionals to promote what is best for the care of our patients. Continuing education and the process of learning new and improved ways of completing old tasks is a step towards excellence. Nurses must always strive for continued excellence to advance the profession of nursing. Professions have a responsibility to society. This responsibility can be operationalized as standards of practice.
Establishing and implementing standards of practice are major functions of a professional organization, and the purpose is to describe that for which nurses are accountable. (Blais & Hayes, 2011). As nurses we must follow and adhere to the Nurse Practice Act. We have to preserve the profession of nursing by practicing values such as autonomy, altruism, integrity, dignity, collaboration, social justice, and excellence. Nurses have to sustain competencies to care for patients appropriately but not lose the art of nursing.
There is always room for improvement in any profession whether it be the person who picks up the garbage on a weekly basis or the nurse who cares for the dying cancer patient. Improvement of one’s self is of utmost importance. Education should be of highest priority to improve skills, and maintain competency for the treatment of patients. As nurses we need to be involved in the advancement of our profession. According to Maister (1997) contributing to the success of others should be a primary requirement of all professionals.
We have to collaborate to improve our profession by voicing opinion, and giving input for improvement, whether it be a new high tech computer charting system or just a way to prevent a urinary tract infection on a patient. We all have a voice in how our jobs are done and ways to improve them. We just need to get them heard. Life changing events had a great impact on me becoming a nurse. In 1992, my husband was suddenly diagnosed with colon cancer. We had two small children, and I only worked as a hostess in a buffet. He was the sole bread winner of the household. He had a colon resection and then underwent a year of hemotherapy. After he was diagnosed, I decided I needed to have a job that could support my family in the event my husband would not be able to care for us. I enrolled in college to pursue a nursing degree. I thought why not nursing it’s a respectable job and they make decent money. It took me a long time to get through my prerequisites. I had some stumbling blocks to get over along the way. In 1993 my father in law passed a way exactly a year the day my husband had his surgery, he died of colon cancer. In 1995, my husband’s cancer reoccurred, I lost my father to cancer and we also lost my brother in law to colon cancer.
Then in 1996, we buried one of my step brothers, who was 23 years old, he died in a motorcycle accident. One would think that after seeing so much death in such a short period of time why would I still want to be a nurse. But I was determined to be a registered nurse. After getting into the program, the more I became involved I found that nursing would not be just a job for me it would be my career. I found that I enjoyed caring for patients. I liked the interaction with fellow students and other nurses. I envied the instructors and thought that maybe someday I could teach nursing to students.
It has been many years since graduation and I have gained countless hours of experience. I have enjoyed sharing experience and stories with new nursing students during clinical hours at my hospital. Therefore, the return to college to obtain my Bachelor’s in Nursing is just a step to a long term goal of someday being able to teach and mentor nursing students. I have great support from my family, friends, and co-workers. I am finding that a lot of my co-workers are also in school pursuing higher levels of education. In the article Integrating the Core Professional Values of Nursing: a Profession, Not Just a Career written by H.
K. Shaw and C. DeGazon professors from Hunter College of the City University of New York, they proposed that the core professional values of nursing were a foundation of the nursing profession. They integrated the core values into the curriculum of the Becoming Excellent Students in Transition to Nursing (BEST) program. BEST provides students with resources and services to ensure their retention in the baccalaureate program and subsequently, their professional success. (Shaw & Degazon, 2008). Students informed faculty of some of the difficulties faced with in transitioning into professional nursing.
Therefore core values were introduced and subsequently helped to improve performance and integration of the students into nursing as a career. According to Shaw and Degazon (2008) the core values include “altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice”. I think these are core values that all nurse should adhere to in everyday practice. I know that I utilize all of these values and hope to one day instill these same beliefs into nursing students, just like they were to me. Does competency based nursing point to the death of nursing as a profession?
This was an editorial written by R. B. Leaver (2009) in International Journal of Urological Nursing in which she talks about nursing competency versus nursing care. Competency has to be obtained to provide good care, but care cannot be sacrificed for competency. Leaver (2009) states that competencies are tools, which can assist us when nursing people but we must be clear that is all they are and they have limitations. I feel this article truly touch on the art of nursing as a caring profession. Leaver (2009) said it best “competency alone does not make a nurse a nurse. ” Summary
Nursing professionalism can be viewed differently by many people, but the core values of nursing I think remain the same no matter what country you work in or what type of patient you treat. Nursing is a profession with many branches of learning. When I became a nurse, we took an oath to elevate the standards of our profession. As nurses we care for the sick and dying, we treat the wounded and afflicted, we educate the people, and we promote the beauty of good health all the while maintaining the true professionalism of nursing. References (Blais K K Hayes J S 2011 Professional Nursing Practice Concepts and Perspectives)Blais, K.
K. , & Hayes, J. S. (2011). Professional Nursing Practice Concepts and Perspectives (6th ed. ). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson. (Leaver R B 2009 Does competency based nursing point to the death of nursing as a profession? )Leaver, R. B. (2009). Does competency based nursing point to the death of nursing as a profession? International Journal of Urological Nursing, 3(1), 1-3. Retrieved from http://www. cinahl. com/cgi-bin/refsvc? jid=3457=2010253275 (Shaw H K Degazon C 2008 Integrating the Core Professional Values of Nursing: A Profession, Not Just a Career)Shaw, H.
K. , & Degazon, C. (2008). Integrating the Core Professional Values of Nursing: A Profession, Not Just a Career. Journal of Cultural Diversity, 15(1), 44-50. Retrieved from http://www. cinahl. com/cgi-bin/refsvc? jid=890=2009940661 Maister (1997) (Maister D H 1997 True Professionalism the Courage to Care About Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career)Maister, D. H. (1997). True Professionalism the Courage to Care About Your People, Your Clients, and Your Career. New York, New York: Touchstone.