Despite in the past nursing was not officially recognized as an autonomous field of study, in the modern world, it is viewed as one of the most challenging, honorable, rewarding, dangerous, and respected professions. Therefore, talented, skilled, and responsible professionals in the sphere of nursing are the greatest blessing for humanity because they often give people a second chance in their lives. The current paper aims to shed light on the definition and nature of nursing. Moreover, the essay will provide convincing evidence that nursing is a distinct scientific discipline, as well as an autonomous and self-governing job and profession like law, psychology, and many other disciplines.
Considering the definition of the term “nursing,” it is possible to stress that it is an autonomous profession within the field of health care that is directly linked to providing professional care and assistance to individuals, families, and communities (Olshansky, 2011). One of the main responsibilities of nurses is to cooperate with physicians and patients in order to treat illnesses and improve the quality of life of people. Despite common views that nursing should not be viewed as a distinct profession, researchers provide convincing evidence that it is an autonomous discipline, job, and profession that enables people to maintain their health and recover, as well as enhances the quality of their lives (Jarrin, 2007). Florence Nightingale recognized as a founder of the modern nursing profession once said that nursing is a form of art that motivates people to express love, care, commitment, and devotion (Jarrin, 2007).
From the historical perspective, Genevieve and Roy Bixler were the first advocates and supporters of nursing who reassessed its status and proved that it is an autonomous profession (Bixler & Bixler, 1945). In 1945, they published The Professional Status of Nursing that contributed to the professional standing of this unique profession on the international arena (Bixler & Bixler, 1945).
Researchers in the sphere of nursing claim that it is an autonomous and distinct profession because it corresponds to the definition of the term “profession” (Jarrin, 2007). Because the latter is a special vocation that requires advanced training and focus on mental work in the same way as teaching, law, and medicine. Nursing is a profession that possesses this unique combination of characteristics. Therefore, similarly to medicine, law, and psychology, it requires specialized intellectual studies, experience, training, and continuous education of professionals, who should possess enough skills and capabilities in order to meet the needs and expectations of patients (Jarrin, 2007). Because nursing like law and medicine involves expertise, responsibility, and the commitment of workers, it is a highly intellectual scope of activity requiring professional education and adequate training. In addition, since nursing focuses on individuals’ accountability, strong sense of loyalty and responsibility, decision-making processes, and, finally, prolonged education, it should be understood as a distinct and challenging profession (Olshansky, 2011).
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Having described and evaluated the arguments of researchers concerning the status of nursing, I would like to claim that although it is viewed as a delicate art and a well-developed discipline, it is a distinct intellectual profession that is more practical than theoretical. Like medicine, psychology, and law, nursing is an autonomous profession because it encompasses numerous integral elements defining it, including the importance of professional education, increased need for the adequate level of professional training, and, finally, the significance of specialized and systematized knowledge. Nowadays, nursing is treated as a rewarding and challenging job that is recognized as a distinct profession on the international level. Furthermore, its status is on the same footing as law, medicine, and teaching because it encompasses unique and well-developed core values and knowledge. Finally, because entrance to the field of nursing is governed and regulated on the state and national levels, this profession is one of the most recognized and respected that employs persistent, talented, and committed individuals willing to contribute to the health and welfare of society.
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