Nursing is a profession. A profession constitutes an occupation that requires specialized training and skills. According to Berg, Hicks, and Roberts (2017), a profession is an occupation that requires formal qualifications and extended training. Therefore, nursing qualifies to be a profession because all nurses have to be educated and completely trained in various nursing programs. Licensed Practical Nurse, Associate Degree in Nursing, Bachelor of Science Nursing, Master of Science Nursing, and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist are educational programs that students undertake before they can qualify to be nurses. Another criterion for a profession is the competent performance of individuals in their duties and within their ranks (Berg et al., 2017). The nursing profession has ranks such as LPN, RN, and nurse managers who are ranked differently and have varying duties. Also, the expansion of knowledge is another characteristic that distinguishes professions. As a constantly changing profession, nursing requires all practicing nurses to engage in continued education for them to stay knowledgeable (Berg et al., 2017).
Another characteristic of a profession is the autonomy of practice. Professions operate independently from the legislature and create policies and standards for the practitioners. Nurses have state and nationwide boards that determine and establish the standards of practice (Berg et al., 2017). In addition, a profession is characterized by a code of ethics that guides the professionals and their relationship with the clients. As a profession, nurses are members of the American Nurses Association (ANA) that guides their professional practices. ANA has implemented a Code of Ethics that has nine provisions (Berg et al., 2017). The provisions elaborate on the values of nursing profession and the responsibilities of nurses. According to Pope, Hough, and Chase (2016), the profession of nursing is based on a foundation of morals, values, and ethics. As professionals, nurses have a duty to engage individuals and communities in ethical manner.
- Berg, J., Hicks, R., & Roberts, M. (2017). Professional growth and development: A lifetime endeavor. Journal Of The American Association Of Nurse Practitioners, 29(8), 429-433.
- Pope, B., Hough, M., & Chase, S. (2016). Ethics in community nursing. Online Journal of Health Ethics, 12(2).