Professional Identity: Nursing Profession Essay


Discuss about the Professional Identity for Nursing Profession.



Professional identity is a fundamental and integral part of understanding the nursing profession (Raeside, 2015). Therefore, the study will provide a detailed understanding of the meaning of professional identity concerning nursing profession and also provide an understanding of some of the factors contributing or affecting the development of professional identity. A major emphasis will be laid in understanding the nursing professional organization, agency or association and how it relates to professional expectations. Finally the essay will examine how the professional organization or agency or association monitor quality control in nursing profession by reviewing some of the guidelines, standards, the codes of conduct(CC) which have been put in place by this partnership. The other purpose of the easy will examine the link between these set standards of practice and the safety of the patients..

Professionalism refers to the conducts, qualities or aims that characterize a professional person (Manley et al. (2011). Professional identity (PI) on the other hand can be defined as the set of values,attributes, beliefs, motives and experiences by which an individual describe themselves in their professional lives (Fredriksson& Johansson, 2014). According to the Nurse Practitioner Practice (2012), professional identity is said to be both personal and career development. It, therefore, involves the internalization of core values and perspectives recognized as integral to the practice of a nursing profession. Therefore, nurses embrace and are required to adopt these fundamental values in their practice to promote the ideals of the nursing profession (Caricati et al., 2016). Professionalism is important especially in the nursing profession as it leads to adherence to the code of conduct for nursing professionals. Willetts and Clarke (2016) denote that it also promotes integrity, trust, honesty and ethical behavior. It is also helpful in maintaining a patient confidentiality and fosters a client-centered care as well as owning up to mistakes by the providers of health care.

The development of a professional identity (PI) requires the integration of personal values, morals, and attributes with the norms of the profession, in this case, the nursing profession according to Fernandez and Crouch (2016). These may end up forming that primary allegiance of the individual's personal identity (PI) with the occupation (Stuebs, 2017). Some of the factors influence the development of professional identity include; gender, professional socialization, social values and education, the understanding of teamwork and cognitive flexibility (Bain, 2016).

Professional socialization is very helpful in the development of professional identity according to Domen et al. (2-17). It can be a process by which a person acquires the skills, knowledge, and sense of professional identity that are evident of a member of that profession. It involves the internalization of the values and norms of the group into the person's behavior and self-conception (Adams et al., 2011; Caricati et al. 2016). Therefore, socialization in this context refers to an individual developing an understanding of what means to be a profession. It suggests that to some extent, their process is dependent on the existence of role models to help the novice find the appropriate identity. Due to their vast experience in practice, these role models or mentors provide great help to young and new health care providers as it builds confidence in their practical skills and moral guidance in their field. Cognitive flexibility is also another factor influencing the development of professional identity. It refers to an individual’s ability to structure knowledge in response to changing situational demands (Fredriksson& Johansson, 2014). It can also be narrowed down to; a person’s awareness of options and alternatives available in any given situation and his willingness to be flexible and adapt to the situation. There are also other factors such as the understanding of teamwork and education which also help in the development of professional identity. Team working provides a better platform for learning as once you make a mistake, it is easier to be corrected and guided by the other colleagues unlike working individually. Social values governing the boundaries to what can and cannot be done are also a factor affecting professional identity development. Education accentuates the importance of empathy and self-reflection.

The American Association of nurse’s practitioners was founded in 1985 with a mission of empowering all nurse practitioners to advance quality health care in America and worldwide through practice, education, advocacy, research, and leadership (Blair et al., 2016). It is the largest nursing association in the world. To achieve its mission it has set down some standards of practice which each and every nurse practitioner should adhere to provide quality health care services. One of the criteria laid down are the education qualifications for every nurse practitioner who they must be registered health care providers and have the relevant skills (Fredriksson& Johansson, 2014). Only those with relevant skills can be allowed to provide health care services. The second standard is the process of care, whereby the nurse practitioners are required to utilize the scientific process of national standards of care as a framework for managing patient care.

The other rule set is regarding care priorities on patient and family education. The nurse practitioner should provide both the patient and his or her family with all relevant information regarding the situation been handled. They should also promote the facilitation of patient participation in self-care, free health and the promotion of a safe environment (Blair et al., 2016). There are also interdisciplinary or collaborative responsibilities. In this case, the nurse practitioners should always act as a team leader and ensure they interact with their professional colleagues within there is, so specialization to provide comprehensive care. They should also provide accurate documentation of patient status and attention. The records should be accurate, legible and confidential.

Lastly, they also set standards for adjunct roles of nurses practitioners; in this case, the nurse practitioners should combine the functions of a mentor, educator, provider, manager, researcher, and consultant. They should employ research as the basis for practice. They can promote research through developing clinical research questions, conducting or participating in studies and disseminating findings into practice.

The College of Licensed Practical Nurses (CLPN), has been entrusted under the health professional Act, with the responsibility to protect the public. Through regulation of Licensed Practical Nursing, it has provided some of the standards of practice guiding health practitioners to provide comprehensive care. These include; knowledge, whereby the health care providers should integrate knowledge of nursing science, arts, and humanities acquired through first and continuous learning. This is important as it enhances the skills, quality, and competence of the nurse practitioner as well as ensuring the patient gets quality health care.

The second standard of practice is accountability, in which the nurse practitioner should demonstrate accountability and become responsible for own nursing actions and professional conduct. They should also maintain appropriate boundaries between professional therapeutic relationships and non-professional personal relationships (Blair et al., 2016). They should also promote the patients safety by acting to prevent or minimize adverse events or occurrences through identification and reporting of situations that are unsafe or potentially unsafe for clients or health workers.

Manley et al. (2011) also denote that nurse practitioners should collaborate with clients, healthcare professionals, and stakeholders in the provisions of health care services. All this can only be achieved when health care providers provide an environment that promotes active relationship planning, implementing and coordinating the delivery of nursing care. Therefore this is important as they will all work towards the accomplishment of one goal. And lastly, they should demonstrate leadership skills in own practice as well as in management and supervision of others.

By setting these standards of practice and code of conducts the American Association of Nurses Practitioners has provided a benchmark or a tool for enhancing the quality of health care or services rendered. It’s against these standards of practice where one can understand whether the needs of their clients are met or not or whether the health practitioners are working towards the same goal or objective according to Manley et al. (2011). So these associations monitor the quality of health care by accessing the indicators from the set standards of practice. When the nurse practitioners work under the guidelines given the, it becomes easy to measure the performance and the quality of services been provide and act accordingly.


From the study above it can be conclude that professional identity is critical in a nursing profession as it equips the individual with the knowledge, skills, and sense of professional identitythat embracing the fundamental values, code of conduct and set guidelines and standards will promote the idea of the nursing profession. It is found that cognitive flexibility is a major factor contributing or enhancing the development of professional identity. Therefore every nursing practitioner should develop cognitive consciousness or flexibility when it comes to making the decision relating to a particular situation. These decisions should be made to set standards of practice.


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