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"Calling" and "profession"

Posted
duskyjewel duskyjewel (Member)

Specializes in hospice.

Some people don't like the term "calling" partly because it has a religious connotation. However, they have no problem referring to nursing as a "profession." Yet that word has religious connotations as well, as it refers to the taking of vows nuns or monks, or an expression of faith.

Wondering if people don't know this, or if they have found some way of differentiating them that makes them comfortable with one when they aren't with the other.

I just found this interesting in discussions I've been involved in here.....

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

The definitions that most people use of the word "profession" do not relate to anything religious. While religious people have used the "profess" term regarding their beliefs, non-religious people (and sociologists doing scientific research) have used the "profess" term for generations to refer to anyone or group that acts on the basis of a defined body of knowledge that they develop/maintain and that regulate themselves to at least some extent. The connections to religion were left behind long, long ago.

And no outside force "called" me to nursing. It was a rational decision I made myself about what to major in for college and what type of job to get to support myself. Religion had nothing to do with it.

psu_213, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant. Has 6 years experience.

The definitions that most people use of the word "profession" do not relate to anything religious. While religious people have used the "profess" term regarding their beliefs

Exactly. Profession has 2 distinct definitions. One is a paid occupation (for example, the profession of nursing). The second is in no way related the the first--an open declaration (such as a "profession of faith). Two very different things, and even the second one does not have to be religious…for example, you can profess your allegiance to a certain country, leader, etc.).

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 15 years experience.

llg provided a salient, succinct explanation of the varied definitions and connotations.

I'm raising my hand with a confession that I was not called to nursing. My entrance into nursing arose due to a calculated business decision to become qualified for employment that offered stability, salable skills, a decent middle income, advancement opportunities, flexible scheduling, and a deeper sense of purpose.

My perspective: The word "calling" has cultural connotations as well. In the U.S., as I'm sure you know, Christian traditions are tied into our language, which is why someone may call their profession a "calling" even if they're not religious. When I lived in Morocco, when you asked someone how they were doing, people would often say, "Ca va, alhamdulillah", which is a French/Arabic combo for "Okay, thanks be to Allah". I would say this as well, even though I'm not Muslim. This is because I understood that it was a culturally appropriate greeting.

duskyjewel

Specializes in hospice.

I was just making an observation about the similar word origins. Obviously both have evolved. It just seemed interesting to me.

Ruby Vee, BSN

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.

Exactly. Profession has 2 distinct definitions. One is a paid occupation (for example, the profession of nursing). The second is in no way related the the first--an open declaration (such as a "profession of faith). Two very different things, and even the second one does not have to be religious…for example, you can profess your allegiance to a certain country, leader, etc.).

And here I was thinking that "professional" applied to hookers and what not.

TU RN

Specializes in ICU, PCU. Has 8 years experience.

Easy. Throw them both in the trash and call it your "job"

ArtClassRN, ADN, RN

Specializes in Med Surg. Has 8 years experience.

A calling can be anything. Doctor, ditch digger, farmer, drug dealer. It doesn't need to have any religious connotation.

I love being a nurse. Since I am paid for it, I prefer to think of it as my profession. Others may think of it as their calling, but I work with quite a few very seasoned nurses who now consider their "calling" a "curse" they can not - or will not - leave.

firstinfamily, RN

Has 33 years experience.

I also entered nursing as a rationale decision, not as a calling. I had experience working with the public as I was in retail for years, was good in the sciences in college and wanted something that offered opportunity and flexibility. Nursing has all of this and so much more!! Learning to navigate through the nursing employment maze has been quite a trial for me, but I know there is something out there for me, it is just finding it!!