found this interesting article at about.com library. karen
nursing as a profession
one of our ongoing challenges is receiving the respect we as nurses deserve from other professionals and from the public. nursing has earned the right to call itself a profession; it is a unique discipline and in no way inferior to other disciplines.
can we demonstrate this? what are the characteristics of a "profession"? miller, adams and beck (1993) proposed that nine behaviors contribute to professionalism, as follows:
there is an educational background required to ensure safe and effective practice.
all of us who have been through nursing school know this to be true!
members of the profession adhere to a code of ethics.
the ana code with its eleven standards defines our profession's ethical practice.
members participate in professional organizations.
there are hundreds of professional organizations; many nurses choose to belong to one or more. the largest is the ana, but there are specialty organizations centered on areas of practice.
members are accountable for continuing education and competency.
the nursing professional keeps his or her knowledge base current by formal and informal ongoing education, and can demonstrate that competency when required.
professionals publish and communicate their knowledge and advances in their profession.
this can occur formally, as in nursing publications, less formally, as on the web, or informally, in one-to-one communication.
members of the profession are autonomous and self-regulating.
nurses make independent decisions within their scope of practice and are responsible for the results and consequences of those decisions.
professionals are involved in community service.
nurses formally and informally disseminate health promotion information in their communities.
a profession develops, evaluates and uses theory as a basis for practice.
nursing has been based on theory since the time of florence nightingale, and has incorporated the work of such notables as imogene king, virginia henderson, dorothea orem, jean watson and others into models for practice.
members of the profession are involved in research.
nursing as a profession and individual nurses are integrally involved in research and expanding the knowledge base to ensure the most up-to-date, safe and effective practice.
our profession is unique, vital and worthy of respect. we hold patient's lives in our hands, and have earned the right to the esteem of the public and other disciplines.
reference: miller, b., adams, d., and beck, l. (1993). a behavioral inventory for professionalism in nursing. originally published in the journal of professional nursing; cited in nunnery, r., advancing your career: concepts of professional nursing. philadelphia: f.a. davis, 1997.