Nursing Is The Ultimate Profession
- The profession has a unique body of knowledge and values – and a perspective to go with it.
- The profession has controlled entry to the group eg registration
- The profession demonstrates a high degree of autonomous practice.
- The profession has its own disciplinary system.
- The profession enjoys the Recognition and Respect of the wider community.
First the nursing profession encompasses a distinctive body of knowledge and professional disciplines. The educational and academic requirements are highly aligned with the medical model in general. In this sense, there is a well-defined philosophical structure for the administration of patient care within the industry.
Nursing in most countries is a highly regulated profession with strict legal guidelines that are applied across the board. The term “profession” is a term that is thrown around quite a bit. And sometimes the term is a bit misunderstood. So, what exactly comprises a profession and how does it relate to the discipline of nursing?
This article will provide some core ideas of the term, and it’s relation to the science of nursing. By definition, term includes the following criteria: highly structured profession, where nurse practitioners (etc.) usually take orders from docs and are accountable to them, because their specialties are branches of medicine. But in many areas, nurses are responsible for *nursing* and in that sense are (still) independent of doctors.
Undoubtedly, nurses tend to give away the areas they are most expert in; physiotherapy and occupational therapy both grew out of a nursing role, respiratory therapy is going the same way. Stoma therapy is an area that utilizes many core nursing skills; how long before it breaks off to become a profession in its own right?
In many countries, nursing does have its own disciplinary system. But in many of them, this is being eroded in favor of making nurses “accountable to the public”. Understandable, but reflecting a view that nurses “cannot be trusted” to deal with their own problems – this is diminution of professional respect and value. Nurses are recognized as ‘nice’, ‘deserving better’ and ‘sexy’ – the jury is out on whether any of those assist in the definition of ‘professional’.
External recognition is vital, just as the legal side is ‘so what’. Few people would ever argue that doctors and lawyers as ‘true’ professionals. When the ‘Church was one, united, catholic church’, priests were similarly respected. I’m not so sure that’s generally true any more; individual clergymen are respected by individuals, and by their own community; as are individual nurses. But both fall shy of general respect to the level required, sadly. (Though both are streets ahead of journalists, real estate agents and heating engineers!).
To conclude, part of the problem is the poor self respect of nursing; just twenty years ago, the process of nursing, care plans, and nursing diagnosis looked set to sweep in an era of nursing confidence and a bright, professional future. Why did it fail? This is not the place to discuss that in detail, but factors include:
Overconfidence and a needless challenge to medicine – little illustrates the power of language better than the blinding stupidity of the term “nursing diagnosis”. Nursing assessment, as a serious, conscious, methodical activity was in its infancy, when ‘nursing diagnosis’ was invented. This simple act guaranteed a fear reaction and backlash from doctors, themselves under attack from the accountants and litigators. From being our allies, doctors have become distanced at best, enemies at worst. All that could have been avoided by a few minutes invested in Roget’s thesaurus or a good dictionary, a too rapid flight to academia. It is hard to argue against developments in nurse’s education; God knows, a bit more has to be a ‘good thing’; but talk of a graduate profession form a tiny graduate base in less than twenty years meant that many mediocre people were sucked into senior positions; many good people were seduced away from clinical nursing, and many clinical idiots became academic idiots. Sad; and bad because instead of supporting and defending clinical nursing, academia began to control it, and did not defend it. Failure to resist the suits – The inexorable rise of the accountant, who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing, probably could not be stopped; but it was allowed to ride roughshod over nursing, destroying confidence and stopping development dead in its tracks.
This is part of an ongoing series of articles from blue sky scrubs on the latest career trends in the nursing industry. blue sky scrubs is the leading supplier of the industry’s most stylish medical scrubs, scrub accessories, and nursing uniforms to professionals in the nursing field. The company, based in Austin, TX and online at www.blueskyscrubs.com, is focused on high-performance and stylish scrub uniforms that give medical professionals fresh clothing options on the job.