Is Nursing a Profession?
There have been arguments that the picture of what nurses do contradicts with the use and or the definition of the term professionalism. However there has been a strong thesis supporting the fact that nursing fulfils the tenets of not only a discipline but also a profession. This can only be proven when the practice of nursing is compared to the qualities that a discipline must meet to be called a profession (Judd Sitzman & Davis 2010). There is no standard definition of a profession. However a profession can be defined as a vocation which is based on specialised education and training and whose main aim is to supply service and objective counsel to the society at a definite and direct compensation devoid of the expectation of additional business gains (Hood & Leddy 2010). This paper thus answers the question as to why nursing fulfils the qualities of a profession. It outlines the qualities of a profession and compares nursing to these qualities.
Qualities of a profession
A number of qualities have been suggested as a basis on which a profession can be singled out. Service orientation is the first tenet of a profession. Systematic theories are used in defining professions thence a profession must meet this tenet. Autonomy is the other quality of a profession. Learning and training also forms part of what defines a profession. A profession has a code of ethics. It is important to note that each of these features is interpreted differently as applied to specific professions (Finkelman & Kenner 2013).
No one can deny that nursing is service oriented. Service orientation aims to satisfy the objective of professionalism which is providing services to the community without having a business inclined mind-set. However nursing has been competing to acquire a full status and recognition in institutions that deal in liberal arts. The major stumbling block in this effort has been and still remains to be the applied science nature or inclination of the discipline of nursing. Traditional sciences give highest priorities to knowledge creation and expansion without fully regarding the practical usefulness of these disciplines. The society applauds professions because of the level of service orientation that a profession has. On the other hand the academe world which trains the professionals does penalize the professions because of service orientation. It is not enough in itself to argue that professions must be service oriented. Service orientation must pay respect to the aspect of time. It must also be carefully orchestrated so that it can satisfy the specific social needs. Orchestration entails the deployment of adequate workforce for the timely delivery of services. Direction and response to the market is a one of the most important considerations of a profession. When the service fails to be timely relevant and efficacious that field of work goes does disappear. The problems facing the nursing discipline largely contribute to the critiques that point out that nursing is not a profession. However nursing remains to be service oriented and thence a profession. If the challenges facing it are eliminated nurses will be able to efficiently and effectively deliver services to the society (Nagelkerk & Huber 2006).
Learning Training and Systematic Theory
Professions must fulfil the art of learning and training. Professions are set apart from each other by the kind of skills and knowledge that are employed in a discipline. Cognitive artfulness is a key art of professions. Cognitive art includes the ability of the practitioners in the profession to manipulate circumstances that were never experienced before. Nursing as been able to make impressive steps in the demonstration of its exclusiveness and cognitive artfulness. The nursing discipline makes use of grand or total and mid-range theories that pave way for the design of caring systems that are distinctive and which focus on similar ends. These theories separate nursing other professions. Nursing theories organize and specify the variables and explains the concepts that are used in nursing. These concepts include health caring collaboration environment person nursing and the relationship between these concepts. Most of the theories used in the field f nursing are derived from theories that are used in other professions. The nursing curriculums as well as research are composed using nursing theories. Graduate nursing programs also emphasize on theory development. Intellectualism is become an essential feature of nursing profession. The education and training that nurses receive helps gives them the authority as well as the autonomy in making clinical decisions. Clinical competency can be split into five different levels. These are novice advanced beginner followed by competent proficient and lastly the expert. Many research institutions in the field of nursing are being developed and improvements are done on the current institutions as a way of enhancing professionalism in the nursing discipline (Blais 2006).
As applied in professions autonomy can be looked at from two perspectives. These are individual autonomy and the autonomy of the discipline or field of work. The unusual degree of skills and knowledge required in professions has been recognized and grasped by the public. Therefore professionals are called upon to perform their work. The feature of autonomy in the field f nursing is accorded to individuals nurses in the course of performing their duties. Nursing is characterised by trust and confidentiality which that features in the provider- client interaction. Autonomy in the nursing discipline is faces constrains from institutional policies. These inhibit the interaction of the nurses with their clients. If institutional policies and regulations are moderated and nurses given an humble time to perform their duties nurses will deliver services in a better way (Mallik Hall & Howard 2009).
Code of Ethics
As it is with many other professions nursing has its code of ethics. The nursing code of ethics was developed by the American Nurses Association. The guidelines in the code of ethics provide guidelines which set the conduct and forms of behaviour of nurses. These guidelines are upheld by nurses in the course of their interaction with clients colleagues and other professionals. Nursing also has its value norms traditions and expectations (Hood & Leddy 2010).
There seems to be confusion on whether to consider nursing to be a profession or not. Basing on the arguments in the discussion above there is a strong thesis which points out that nursing is a profession. Apart form the challenges that face the practice of nursing it meets almost all the qualities of a profession. These are autonomy service orientation a code of ethics training and the use of systematic theory. Most of the challenges that face nursing is what people base on to argue that nursing does not fulfil the qualities of what defines a profession. Though it has been in existence for a very long time nursing is still facing difficulties as it paves its way to attain the full status of what forms a profession.