Nursing Profession Research Paper

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Is Nursing a Profession? The rich history of nursing encompasses hundreds of years, beginning way before Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, or Dorthea Dix and the evolution of a nurse’s role continues today. Preparing to become a nurse requires a unique body of knowledge, theory, ethics, and science along with the ability to safely apply that knowledge. All nurses belong to the medical profession but some members of that profession are in disagreement. The disagreement about whether nursing truly is a profession or whether it is simply a discipline has created a riff among us. There are countless definitions of the word “professional”. According to Blais and Hayes (2011), a profession is distinguished from the word occupation by the required …show more content…
Florence Nightingale opened her first nursing school in London in 1960 (Sweeney, 2010). The training of nurses has evolved immensely since 1873 when nurses were gradually being allowed by doctors to take temperatures. By 1880, those same nurses frequently had to show doctors how to apply bandages (Nightingale & McDonald, 2009). Today, there are several paths an individual can take to become a registered nurse including a four year baccalaureate program, a two year associate degree program, or a hospital based diploma program (Sweeney, 2010). Whichever school of nursing is chosen, admission standards vary widely within programs. Once graduate student nurses successfully complete their accredited nursing program the nurses must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for registered nurses (NCLEX-RN). This exam is created by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) and is considered psychometrically sound, legally defensible and consistent with current nursing practice (“History,” n.d.). It covers four major categories: Safe and Effective Care Environment, Health Promotion and Maintenance, Psychosocial Integrity, Physiological Integrity. Once the student passes this exam, which is based on making nursing judgements and utilizing critical thinking skills, they are considered safe to begin practice as an …show more content…
The role of a nurse has transformed dramatically over the past few years as our health care industry has changed. A nurse has the freedom to remain on the same work unit on the same shift doing the same type of work their entire career if they so choose. Equally, that associate degree nurse has the freedom to obtain a doctorate degree if they are dedicated and disciplined. Today’s health care system is demanding more from nurses and simultaneously it offers unlimited opportunities for bachelor’s and graduate level nurses (Amos, 2014). In some cases, employers reimburse the nurse’s tuition expenses so finances cannot be used as an excuse to avoid achieving higher levels of education. Nurses salaries cover a broad range while having a national mean hourly wage of $31.84 (“Occupational Employment and Wages,” 2013). A nurse can increase her income potential by working alternate shifts, being dually employed, taking extra shifts, attaining higher positions within their facility, increasing their degree level among many other options. Recent changes in health care have amplified opportunities for nurses and along with those expanding opportunities comes an equivalent increase in responsibilities. As Florence Nightingale encouraged, we should “always keep up the honor of this honorable

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