Compise, Madison: Professional Nursing Essay/Quiz#1

Professional Nursing Essay

Madison Compise

California State University, Fullerton

NURS 305 Professional Nursing I

Monina Distor-Castro, MSN, RN, FNP-BC

5 September 2013

What defines a profession? Many people will say they are professionals at what they do for a living. They may say they are a professional basketball player, a professional listener, a professional cook, or a professional nurse. Even the president of the United States may say he is part of a profession. What exactly makes a person part of a profession? This research paper will go on to explain the characteristics of a profession and how to better identify a profession from a non-profession. It will also address the question of why nursing is a profession but being president of the United States is not a profession.
According to Saewert (2011) “a profession is defined as an occupation that meets specified criteria beyond that of an occupation” (p. 44).
A profession is characterized by prolonged education that takes place in a college or university and results in the acquisition of a body of knowledge based on theory and research. Values, beliefs, and ethics relating to the profession are integral parts of the educational preparation (Saewert, 2011, p. 44-45).
Ethics and values are extremely important to the nursing profession, as this is how nurses base their practice. Without these principles nurses would not feel individual accountability for their actions or decisions.
Since we are on the topic of accountability it seems appropriate to discuss some other characteristics of a profession. Many authors, beginning with Flexner, have added, modified and amplified what they believe are criteria of a profession. This section will discuss some of the more important characteristics. A specified body of knowledge and altruism are two of the more accepted and acknowledged characteristics across the board. Saewert (2011) describes professional knowledge as...