a Profession - A New Perspective.
Historically, only medicine, law and the ministry were
accepted as profession.
Criteria of a profession. Genevieve
and Roy Bixler first wrote about the status of nursing as a profession in 1945.
These criteria include the following.
The services provided are vital to humanity and the welfare
of the society. Nursing is the service that is essential to the wellbeing of the
people and to the society. Nursing promotes, maintains and restores the health
of individuals, groups and communities. Assisting others to attain the highest
level of wellness is the goal of nursing. Caring, meaning nurturing and helping
others are the basic components of professional nursing.
There is a special body of knowledge that is continually
enlarged through research. In the
past, nursing was based on
principles borrowed from the physical and social sciences and other
disciplines. Today there is a unique body of knowledge to nursing
services involve intellectual activities. Individual responsibilities (accountability) are
a strong feature. Nursing has
developed and refined its own unique approach to practice. Nursing process is a
cognitive activity that requires both critical and creative thinking and serves
as the basis of providing nursing care. Individual
accountability in nursing has become the hallmark of practice. Accountability is ' is being answerable to
some one for something one has done' Through legal opinion and court cases,
society has demonstrated that nurses are individually responsible for their
actions as well as for those of personnel under their supervision.
Practitioners are educated in institution of higher
learning. There are basic nursing program,
baccalaureate program, masters and
Doctoral program in nursing
Practitioners are relatively independent and control their own policies and activities. (Autonomy).
Autonomy or control over one's practice is another controversial area for
nursing. Although many nursing actions are independent, most nurses are
employed in hospitals where authority resides in one's position.
Practitioners are motivated by service (altruism) and
considered their work an important component of their lives. Nurses are dedicated to the ideal of service to others, which is known as altruism
There is a Code of Ethics to guide the decisions and conduct
of practitioners. The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has established Code of
Nursing Ethics through which standards of practice are established, promoted
There is an organisation (Association) that encourages and
supports high standards of practice. Nursing
has a number of professional associations that were formed to promote the
improvement of the profession. Foremost among these, is the TNAI (The Trained
Nurses Association of India).
The purposes of TNAI are to foster high standards of nursing
practice, promote professional and educational advancement of nurses and
promote the welfare of the nurses.