Nursing Profession, Its Definition and Image

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Different professions require various approaches from employees, and certain job responsibilities form opinions on specific positions and their perception by the society. The area of nursing is the sphere where special attention is paid to not only the professionalism of the staff but also to the dedication of the profession. The lack of desire to help those in need and provide quality and full-fledged care characterizes a junior medical worker as an irresponsible specialist who does not perform his or her immediate duties. The nursing profession is distinctive and has specific characteristics that are peculiar to this sphere, which makes it unique and implies a special approach to work.

The Image of Nursing Profession

Nursing as the separate field of medicine requires careful preparation since it is impossible to become a highly qualified specialist and a valuable employee without proper education. Nevertheless, as Hoeve, Jansen, and Roodbol (2014), note, “the public does not always value the skills and competences nurses have acquired through education and innovation” (p. 295). Some stereotypes formed in the society do not allow treating nursing as an area of ​​medicine where knowledge is essential.

This stereotype, however, can be challenged because professional staff in this area has many skills that are needed to provide care to different patients. As Grace, Willis, Roy, and Jones (2016) remark, the training of the staff is reinforced and requires dedication from the staff, otherwise, the work permit cannot be obtained. If the nurse is inexperienced, the chances of mistakes are high, which is unacceptable in medical practice. According to Girvin, Jackson, and Hutchinson (2016), the role of junior medical personnel is often misunderstood. Therefore, the prevailing stereotypes are erroneous, which adversely affects the image of the profession.

Nursing as a Distinct Profession

Since the training of nurses is complex, this profession has every right to be considered distinctive, for instance, like jurisprudence, psychology, and other fields. A care specialist should have enough knowledge in various methods and techniques of medical aid, professional theories, interaction and communication with patients, and many other aspects of the work. Nursing involves different disciplines, which makes it multifaceted and quite difficult. Moreover, one of the most significant criteria determining the degree of professionalism in this area is devotion to work (Chang et al., 2015).

Nursing staff often experience increased fatigue and difficulties in caring for patients since a variety of cases are encountered in practice. Nevertheless, the specialist should be ready to provide assistance to all those who need it, without demarcating duties and not refusing to carry out job descriptions. According to Sabatino et al. (2014), “the recognition of nursing professional dignity could have a positive impact on patients” (p. 669). Therefore, it is important to take consider this activity to be responsible and worthy and treat the junior medical staff as generalists with sufficient knowledge to provide full-fledged care.


The distinctiveness of the nursing profession is evident since it requires compliance with a number of exceptional requirements that are not typical for other areas of medicine. Special approaches that are practiced in this sphere make it unique. In the process of work, not only medical skills are used but also various communication, psychological, and other attainments. Complex preparation and the need to have appropriate professional skills allow saying that nursing is the field of medicine that deserves recognition in the society.

Chang, H. Y., Shyu, Y. I. L., Wong, M. K., Friesner, D., Chu, T. L., & Teng, C. I. (2015). Which aspects of professional commitment can effectively retain nurses in the nursing profession? Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 47(5), 468-476.

Girvin, J., Jackson, D., & Hutchinson, M. (2016). Contemporary public perceptions of nursing: A systematic review and narrative synthesis of the international research evidence. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(8), 994-1006.

Grace, P. J., Willis, D. G., Roy, C., & Jones, D. A. (2016). Profession at the crossroads: A dialog concerning the preparation of nursing scholars and leaders. Nursing Outlook, 64(1), 61-70.

Hoeve, Y. T., Jansen, G., & Roodbol, P. (2014). The nursing profession: Public image, self-concept and professional identity. A discussion paper. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(2), 295-309.

Sabatino, L., Stievano, A., Rocco, G., Kallio, H., Pietila, A. M., & Kangasniemi, M. K. (2014). The dignity of the nursing profession: A meta-synthesis of qualitative research. Nursing Ethics, 21(6), 659-672.

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1. NursingBird. "Nursing Profession, Its Definition and Image." May 17, 2021.


NursingBird. "Nursing Profession, Its Definition and Image." May 17, 2021.