Is nursing a profession or a job?Written by AMNT Guest 3/4/2013 11:39:12 AM
Welcome to guest
blogger Donna Cardillo!
Is nursing a profession or a job?
I recently read
an article on the web where the nurse author’s stated intent was to “enlighten”
future and prospective nurses to the “harsh realities” of the profession. The
piece listed things like the physicality of the job, the necessity of doing
shift work, and a proclamation that nursing is not a profession but just a job.
Holy encephalopathy, Batman! Are we still having this conversation?
I’m not going to
bore you with definitions from Webster’s dictionary. Nor am I going to quote
the many research papers on this subject from various scientific disciplines.
I’m neither a nurse researcher nor a social scientist. I am, however a nurse
who in her 35 years in the profession
has a pretty good idea of what nursing is and what it isn’t. When you come
right down to it, the following is all the evidence I or anyone else needs to
put the issue to rest. So read on.
specialized education and training validated by “professional licensure” in
each state. We have a code of ethics and established practice standards we are
bound to adhere to, a violation of which can result in our license being
revoked or sanctioned. We have our own body of ongoing research that shapes and
governs our practice. Nurses work autonomously within our scope of practice. We
formulate and carry out our own plan of care for clients (when applicable); we
apply judgment, use critical thinking skills, and make nursing diagnoses.
Nurses use their
specialized knowledge, experience, and skill set to initiate life-saving
measures, improve and promote the health and well-being of the planet, and ease
pain, suffering, and loss. We are all united in that common mission—regardless
of where we work, our position title, or whether we’re employed, unemployed, or
Nursing is my
profession and my life’s work. I have had various employment/self-employment
positions over the years since becoming a nurse. But regardless of what title I
had at any given time, and whether directly or indirectly working with
consumers of healthcare (and we are all consumers of healthcare) I have always
been working within the profession of nursing. In each role I had the same mission,
ideals, and ethical and practice standards, while being aware of my role and
responsibility as a healthcare expert (every nurse is a healthcare expert in
his or her own way) and provider of care in a very broad sense. Today, as a
nurse entrepreneur, when people ask me what I do, I say, “I am a self-employed
registered nurse who spends her time speaking and a writing. You might say I
heal with words.”
I am proud to be
a member of the nursing profession
for 35 years. I don’t want to discuss the issue anymore, I don’t want to debate
or dispute it. I just want to keep on living it—to the best of my
ability—always striving to raise the standards of my own practice and my
profession as a whole for hopefully another 35 years…or more.
Donna Wilk Cardillo is the Career Guru for Nurses and “Dear Donna” columnist for Nursing Spectrum, NurseWeek, and www.nurse.com. Donna is also an ‘Expert’ Blogger at DoctorOz.com. She is author of The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses, Your 1st Year as a Nurse, and A Daybook for Beginning Nurses. Ms. Cardillo is creator of the Career Alternatives for Nurses® seminar and home-study program. You can reach her at www.dcardillo.com.
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