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I believe that nursing is a profession when using the criteria that Pavalko used to define the eight dimensions of a profession. I plan to show that nursing has relevance to social values, education, self-motivation, a code of ethics, commitment to life long work, a theoretical framework, and that there is a common identity. Additionally, I will discuss how the baccalaureate prepared professional nurse has many roles, such as a caregiver, teacher, advocate, manager, colleague, and expert.
It is my opinion nursing is a remarkably rewarding profession that consists of various obstacles that are triumphed over in order to pave the way for a rewarding and honorable future. There are many significant achievements accomplished by nurses in today's society including the values instilled in our social lives, as well as the education attained by individuals in order to seize the ability to give great care to the community. I believe it takes a unique type of person with a great deal of motivation and ambition to be capable of performing as a caretaker for others. It is crucial to believe in what you are doing by always using superior judgment, and by following the "Code of Ethics" in each decision you make in your working institution or at home with friends and family. Using the term "Career" in regards to nursing seems to be an understatement of my outlook on this astounding health care position, I have always considered this opportunity as a permanent gratifying commitment not only to myself, but to all of those whom rely on my specialized training and care for their well being. Although maybe not suitable for each person, nursing is a profession of choice for general public to apply themselves to if they so desire. There are numerous different regulations and system policies the nurses adhere to in order to maintain safety and quality care for all people. I believe nursing colleagues may be able to unite as one group with the same values in their trade in order to work harder on leading by example, and following each others strategies as well; furthermore, overcoming the obstacles of modern day traditional standards and excelling beyond the current generations outlook of the nursing profession.
Throughout my years in the nursing profession I have observed many challenging circumstances with a wide variety of remarkable people. All individuals, at some stage in their lives, will seek medical attention. During these times of need each person desires to find comfort in the ones looking over them. People need a doctor that is aware of their situation and that has a plan of overcoming the quandary the patient is in. These same individuals interact with nurses recurrently and find relief in their understanding and ability to console the patients during the period of their predicament. The major social value of the contributing nurses is, at times, overpowering. With so many people all over the world constantly struggling to endure their circumstances it is evident of how valuable the medical skills are. As Memorial Health Care System writes in their "Philosophy of Nursing", "Nursing care throughout the Memorial Health Care System is committed to upholding Memorial's mission and core values of Reverence, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence. These principles most characterize nursing care." I believe this statement is relevant to the social values in nursing because these are the expectations of the patients. The people in our care, that value their own lives, most certainly deserve the awareness that we value their lives as well. Therefore, all those who need medical treatment, which is everyone at some point, need reliable nurses to insure their well being.
What makes a reliable nurse? I believe proper training and education plays a large role in being able to perform effectively, thus increasing reliability. Education in the field of nursing has been a part of the educational system for many years. Wikipedia writes, "Nurse education in the United States has been conducted within university schools, although it is unclear who offered the first degree level program. So far as known Yale School of Nursing became the first autonomous school of nursing in the United States in 1923. In Europe the University of Edinburgh was the first European institution to offer a nursing degree in 1972." This shows us that although dating back decades from our current time our nursing field and expectations has broadened tremendously over the more recent years. The demand for educated nurses has also increased and is continuing to increase every year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an interesting piece of information in regards to the demand of nurses currently and for our futures. This piece of information was last updated: September 27, 2007.
"Projected Number of and Demand for Licensed Registered Nurses, 2000-2020"
Licensed RNs Licensed RNs FTE Licensed RN Projected Demand
Active in Nursing Workforce for FTE Licensed RNs
2000 2,697,000 2,249,000 1,891,000 2,001,500
2020 2,705,000 2,163,000 1,808,000 2,824,900
According to the chart above the nursing profession will be in growing demand for many years to come. The education required to become a nurse has changed over time as well. There are many different levels of nursing in today's society. One of the shortest paths is a two-year Associate degree in Nursing. Two year programs often require many prerequisites which extend the total amount of time to three years and sometimes four years. Wikipedias Definition of a Hospital diploma program states that, "Another method is to attend a diploma program, which lasts approximately three years. Students take between 30 and 60 credit hours in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition, chemistry, and other subjects at a college or university, then move on to intensive nursing classes." Another degree of nursing is the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This is usually a four year degree program. Universities offering this program must be accredited by either the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). After receiving the Bachelor of Science in Nursing there is always the opportunity to advance even further by getting your Master's of Science in Nursing. This program allows graduates to take the state boards to receive an RN and Master's degree. After completion of any of the listed degree programs, students are able to take the NCLEX-RN, this test stands as the licensure as a registered nurse. The test is accepted by all states as an indicator of competency of new graduates. Overall, the process of education for becoming a nurse can be difficult yet very rewarding when completed. My opinion of the educational requirements has changed over the years. Initially, I would rationalize that having an AND was just as good as a BSN, after all, the State Board exam is the same, the pay is the same, and you can get right to work in two years less time. It used to be a "bragging" piece that I made just as much money as a co-worker with less education. Now, I am embarrassed to admit that I have an associate degree. I never advertise this. Even though I will not make more money upon receipt of my BSN, the intrinsic value is far more important to me.
There are many rewards that come from the advancement in the nursing profession. In order to achieve these advancements it takes a large amount of self-motivation.
Nursing has a "Code of Ethics". Throughout this code it is illustrated that nurses should provide services with respect to the patients regardless of their situations. It tells about maintaining the privacy of clients, as well as insuring safe practice. Nurses are responsible for their own judgment, and should maintain competence in nursing. The "Code" also speaks of the expectations of nurses in contribution to ongoing development of practice, compliance with improving standards, establishing and maintaining conditions of employment conducive to high quality care, maintaining integrity to the public, and that the nurses should collaborate with other medical members and citizens in promoting community and national efforts for meeting health needs. "Clinical Ethics", Howard University College of Medicine, Spring 2002. "American Nurses Association Code of Ethics."
I believe that a profession has a commitment to a lifelong work because you get involved in your establishment. It is very hard for me to think of leaving the nursing field, or the hospital I work in now, because there are so many people relying on me for my knowledge of this hospital. I have grown attached to those I work for and with. The rules of this hospital differ from others and after familiarizing myself in such depth here I could not just leave in hopes of finding another place to be so comfortable or appreciated. However, in today's generation many nurses do not feel the same way. There are many nurses that choose to work short term in one hospital and then leave to work in another facility. Due to this constant battle for hospitals and other health care provider facilities to keep continuous adequate nursing staff, the United States has had to find other means of populating our health care systems. For instance, "According to the American Hospital Association, 17% of hospitals recruit from abroad to fill nursing vacancies." New Trends in foreign Nurse Recruitment," Texas Nursing Voice", April, May, June 2008.