NUR 670 Discussion Service as Profession in Nursing
How do you serve others in the profession of nursing? Explain how the way you serve others in the profession of nursing could become more closely aligned with the issue of serving as explained by the servant-leadership paradigm. How does the issue of serving differ from the secular view of power?
Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice. Nurses practice in many specialties with differing levels of prescription authority. Nurses comprise the largest component of most healthcare environments; but there is evidence of international shortages of qualified nurses. Many nurses provide care within the ordering scope of physicians, and this traditional role has shaped the public image of nurses as care providers. Nurse practitioners are nurses with a graduate degree in advanced practice nursing. They are however permitted by most jurisdictions to practice independently in a variety of settings. Since the postwar period, nurse education has undergone a process of diversification towards advanced and specialized credentials, and many of the traditional regulations and provider roles are changing.
Nurses develop a plan of care, working collaboratively with physicians, therapists, the patient, the patient’s family, and other team members that focuses on treating illness to improve quality of life. In the United Kingdom and the United States, advanced practice nurses, such as clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioners, diagnose health problems and prescribe medications and other therapies, depending on individual state regulations. Nurses may help coordinate the patient care performed by other members of a multidisciplinary health care team such as therapists, medical practitioners, and dietitians. Nurses provide care both interdependently, for example, with physicians, and independently as nursing professionals.
Nursing historians face the challenge of determining whether care provided to the sick or injured in antiquity is called nursing care. In the fifth century BC, for example, the Hippocratic Collection in places describes skilled care and observation of patients by male “attendants,” who may have been early nurses. Around 600 BC in India, it is recorded in Sushruta Samhita, Book 3, Chapter V about the role of the nurse as “the different parts or members of the body as mentioned before including the skin, cannot be correctly described by one who is not well versed in anatomy. Hence, any one desirous of acquiring a thorough knowledge of anatomy should prepare a dead body and carefully, observe, by dissecting it, and examine its different parts.”
Before the foundation of modern nursing, members of religious orders such as nuns and monks often provided nursing-like care. Examples exist in Christian, Islamic and Buddhist traditions amongst others. Phoebe, mentioned in Romans 16 has been described in many sources as “the first visiting nurse”. These traditions were influential in the development of the ethos of modern nursing. The religious roots of modern nursing remain in evidence today in many countries. One example in the United Kingdom is the use of the historical title “sister” to refer to a senior nurse in the past.
During the Reformation of the 16th century, Protestant reformers shut down the monasteries and convents, allowing a few hundred municipal hospices to remain in operation in northern Europe. Those nuns who had been serving as nurses were given pensions or told to get married and stay home. Nursing care went to the inexperienced as traditional caretakers, rooted in the Roman Catholic Church, were removed from their positions. The nursing profession suffered a major setback for approximately 200 years.
Russian Sisters of Mercy in the Crimea, 1854-1855
During the Crimean War the Grand Duchess Elena Pavlovna issued the call for women to join the Order of Exaltation of the Cross (Krestodvizhenskaya obshchina) for the year of service in the military hospitals. The first section of twenty-eight “sisters”, headed by Aleksandra Petrovna Stakhovich, the Directress of the Order, went off to the Crimea early in November 1854.
Florence Nightingale was an influential figure in the development of modern nursing. No uniform had been created when Nightingale was employed during the Crimean War. Often considered the first nurse theorist, Nightingale linked health with five environmental factors:(1) pure or fresh air, (2) pure water, (3) efficient drainage, (4) cleanliness, and (5) light, especially direct sunlight. Deficiencies in these five factors resulted in a lack of health or illness. Both the role of nursing and education were first defined by Nightingale.
Florence Nightingale laid the foundations of professional nursing after the Crimean War. Her Notes on Nursing (1859) became popular. The Nightingale model of professional education, having set up the first school of nursing that is connected to a continuously operating hospital and medical school, spread widely in Europe and North America after 1870. Nightingale was also a pioneer of the graphical presentation of statistical data.
Nightingale’s recommendations built upon the successes of Jamaican “doctresses” such as Mary Seacole, who like Nightingale, served in the Crimean War. Seacole practised hygiene and the use of herbs in healing wounded soldiers and those suffering from diseases in the 19th century in the Crimea, Central America, and Jamaica. Her predecessors had great success as healers in the Colony of Jamaica in the 18th century, and they included Seacole’s mother, Mrs. Grant, Sarah Adams, Cubah Cornwallis, and Grace Donne, the mistress and doctress to Jamaica’s wealthiest planter, Simon Taylor.
NUR 670 Discussion Service as Profession in NursingOther important nurses in the development of the profession include:
Agnes Hunt from Shropshire was the first orthopedic nurse and was pivotal in the emergence of the orthopedic hospital The Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Hospital in Oswestry, Shropshire.
Agnes Jones, who established a nurse training regime at the Brownlow Hill infirmary, Liverpool, in 1865.
Linda Richards, who established quality nursing schools in the United States and Japan, and was officially the first professionally trained nurse in the US, graduating in 1873 from the New England Hospital for Women and Children in Boston.
Clarissa Harlowe “Clara” Barton, a pioneer American teacher, patent clerk, nurse, and humanitarian, and the founder of the American Red Cross.
Saint Marianne Cope, a Sister of St. Francis who opened and operated some of the first general hospitals in the United States, instituting cleanliness standards which influenced the development of America’s modern hospital system.
Red Cross chapters, which began appearing after the establishment of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863, offered employment and professionalization opportunities for nurses (despite initial objections from Florence Nightingale). Catholic orders such as Little Sisters of the Poor, Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of St. Mary, St. Francis Health Services, Inc. and Sisters of Charity built hospitals and provided nursing services during this period. In turn, the modern deaconess movement began in Germany in 1836. Within a half century, there were over 5,000 deaconesses in Europe.
Formal use of nurses in the modern military began in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Nurses saw active duty in the First Boer War, the Egyptian Campaign (1882), and the Sudan Campaign (1883).
Hospital-based training came to the fore in the early 1900s, with an emphasis on practical experience. The Nightingale-style school began to disappear. Hospitals and physicians saw women in nursing as a source of free or inexpensive labor. Exploitation of nurses was not uncommon by employers, physicians, and educational providers.
Many nurses saw active duty in World War I, but the profession was transformed during the Second World War. British nurses of the Army Nursing Service were part of every overseas campaign. More nurses volunteered for service in the US Army and Navy than any other occupation. The Nazis had their own Brown Nurses, 40,000 strong. Two dozen German Red Cross nurses were awarded the Iron Cross for heroism under fire.
The modern era saw the development of undergraduate and post-graduate nursing degrees. Advancement of nursing research and a desire for association and organization led to the formation of a wide variety of professional organizations and academic journals. Growing recognition of nursing as a distinct academic discipline was accompanied by an awareness of the need to define the theoretical basis for practice.
In the 19th and early 20th century, nursing was considered a women’s profession, just as doctoring was a men’s profession. With increasing expectations of workplace equality during the late 20th century, nursing became an officially gender-neutral profession, though in practice the percentage of male nurses remains well below that of female physicians in the early 21st century
The authority for the practice of nursing is based upon a social contract that delineates professional rights and responsibilities as well as mechanisms for public accountability. In almost all countries, nursing practice is defined and governed by law, and entrance to the profession is regulated at the national or state level.
The aim of the nursing community worldwide is for its professionals to ensure quality care for all, while maintaining their credentials, code of ethics, standards, and competencies, and continuing their education. There are a number of educational paths to becoming a professional nurse, which vary greatly worldwide; all involve extensive study of nursing theory and practice as well as training in clinical skills.
Nurses care for individuals of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are healthy and ill in a holistic manner based on the individual’s physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, social, and spiritual needs. The profession combines physical science, social science, nursing theory, and technology in caring for those individuals.
To work in the nursing profession, all nurses hold one or more credentials depending on their scope of practice and education. In the United States, a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) works independently or with a Registered Nurse (RN). The most significant difference between an LPN and RN is found in the requirements for entry to practice, which determines entitlement for their scope of practice. RNs provide scientific, psychological, and technological knowledge in the care of patients and families in many health care settings. RNs may earn additional credentials or degrees.
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In the United States, multiple educational paths will qualify a candidate to sit for the licensure examination as an RN. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is awarded to the nurse who has completed a two-year undergraduate academic degree awarded by community colleges, junior colleges, technical colleges, and bachelor’s degree-granting colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study usually lasting two years. It is also referred to as Associate in Nursing (AN), Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS), or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN). The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is awarded to the nurse who has earned an American four-year academic degree in the science and principles of nursing, granted by a tertiary education university or similarly accredited school. After completing either the LPN or either RN education programs in the United States, graduates are eligible to sit for a licensing examination to become a nurse, the passing of which is required for the nursing license. The National Licensure Examination (NCLEX) test is a standardized exam (including multiple choice, select all that apply, fill in the blank and “hot spot” questions) that nurses take to become licensed. It costs two-hundred dollars to take the NCLEX. It examines a nurses ability to properly care for a client. Study books and practice tests are available for purchase.
Some nurses follow the traditional role of working in a hospital setting. Other options include: pediatrics, neonatal, maternity, OBGYN, geriatrics, ambulatory, and nurse anesthetists and informatics (eHealth). There are many other options nurses can explore depending on the type of degree and education acquired. RNs may also pursue different roles as advanced practice nurses.
Nurses are not doctors’ assistants. This is possible in certain situations, but nurses more often are independently caring for their patients or assisting other nurses. RNs treat patients, record their medical history, provide emotional support, and provide follow-up care. Nurses also help doctors perform diagnostic tests. Nurses are almost always working on their own or with other nurses. Nurses will assist doctors in the emergency room or in trauma care when help is needed.
Main article: Men in nursing
A nurse at Runwell Hospital, Wickford, Essex, in 1943
Despite equal opportunity legislation, nursing has continued to be a female-dominated profession in many countries; according to the WHO’s 2020 State of the World’s Nursing, approximately 90% of the nursing workforce is female. For instance, the male-to-female ratio of nurses is approximately 1:19 in Canada and the United States. This ratio is represented around the world. Notable exceptions include Francophone Africa, which includes the countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Guinea, Gabon, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo, which all have more male than female nurses. In Europe, in countries such as Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic and Italy, over 20% of nurses are male. In the United Kingdom, 11% of nurses and midwives registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) are male. The number of male nurses in the United States doubled between 1980 and 2000. However female nurses are still more common, but male nurses receive more pay on average.
Research has indicated that there can be negative effects of diversity within nursing. When there is a heavier focus on diversity in nursing, the quality of care or performance of the nurses can be hindered. Research demonstrates that as people begin to be different in a work setting, this can create issues if not addressed correctly. When hospitals begin to focus on diversity over their patients, the quality of care can be negatively affected if diversity becomes the main goal.
Minorities in U.S.A. Nursing
Statistically speaking, in the United States 19.2% of nursing positions are held by people of minority backgrounds. The remaining 80.8% of positions are held by Caucasian individuals, particularly women. Diversity in nursing is lacking. Low numbers of diverse populations in the nursing field can create difficulties amongst treating diverse patients.
Theory and process
Main articles: Nursing theory and Nursing process
Nursing practice is the actual provision of nursing care. In providing care, nurses implement the nursing care plan using the nursing process. This is based around a specific nursing theory which is selected in consideration with the care setting and the population served. In providing nursing care, the nurse uses both nursing theory and best practice derived from nursing research.
In general terms, the nursing process is the method used to assess and diagnose needs, plan outcomes and interventions, implement interventions, and evaluate the outcomes of the care provided. Like other disciplines, the profession has developed different theories derived from sometimes diverse philosophical beliefs and paradigms or worldviews to help nurses direct their activities to accomplish specific goals.
Scope of activities
Activities of daily living assistance
Main article: Activities of daily living
Nurses manage and coordinate care to support activities of daily living (ADL). Often the provision of such care is delegated to nursing assistants. This includes assisting in patient mobility, such as moving an activity intolerant patient within bed.
Medication management and administration are a part of most hospital nursing roles, however, prescribing authority varies between jurisdictions. In many areas, registered nurses administer and manage medications prescribed by a professional with full prescribing authority such as a nurse practitioner or a physician. As nurses are responsible for evaluating patients throughout their care – including before and after medication administration – adjustments to medications are often made through a collaborative effort between the prescriber and the nurse. Regardless of the prescriber, nurses are legally responsible for the drugs they administer. There may be legal implications when there is an error in a prescription, and the nurse could be expected to have noted and reported the error. In the United States, nurses have the right to refuse any medication administration that they deem to be potentially harmful to the patient. In the United Kingdom there are some nurses who have taken additional specialist training that allows them to prescribe any medications from their scope of practice.
See also: Patient education
The patient’s family is often involved in the education. Effective patient education leads to fewer complications and hospital visits.
Specialties and practice settings
Main article: List of nursing specialties
Nursing is the most diverse of all health care professions. Nurses practice in a wide range of settings but generally nursing is divided depending on the needs of the person being nursed.
NUR 670 Discussion Service as Profession in NursingThe major populations are:
family/individual across the lifespan
acute care hospitals
ambulatory settings (physician offices, urgent care settings, camps, etc.)
There are also specialist areas such as cardiac nursing, orthopedic nursing, palliative care, perioperative nursing, obstetrical nursing, oncology nursing, nursing informatics, telenursing, radiology, and emergency nursing.
Nurses practice in a wide range of settings, including hospitals, private homes, schools, and pharmaceutical companies. Nurses work in occupational health settings (also called industrial health settings), free-standing clinics and physician offices, nurse-led clinics, long-term care facilities and camps. They also work on cruise ships and in the military service. Nurses act as advisers and consultants to the health care and insurance industries. Many nurses also work in the health advocacy and patient advocacy fields at companies such as Health Advocate, Inc. helping in a variety of clinical and administrative issues. Some are attorneys and others work with attorneys as legal nurse consultants, reviewing patient records to assure that adequate care was provided and testifying in court. Nurses can work on a temporary basis, which involves doing shifts without a contract in a variety of settings, sometimes known as per diem nursing, agency nursing or travel nursing. Nurses work as researchers in laboratories, universities, and research institutions. Nurses have also been delving into the world of informatics, acting as consultants to the creation of computerized charting programs and other software. Nurse authors publish articles and books to provide essential reference materials.
File:Sleep Deprivation – Shift Work & Long Work Hours Put Nurses at Risk.webm
A video describing occupational hazards that exist among nurses
Internationally, there is a serious shortage of nurses. One reason for this shortage is due to the work environment in which nurses practice. In a recent review of the empirical human factors and ergonomic literature specific to nursing performance, nurses were found to work in generally poor environmental conditions. Some countries and states have passed legislation regarding acceptable nurse-to-patient ratios.
The fast-paced and unpredictable nature of health care places nurses at risk for injuries and illnesses, including high occupational stress. Nursing is a particularly stressful profession, and nurses consistently identify stress as a major work-related concern and have among the highest levels of occupational stress when compared to other professions. This stress is caused by the environment, psychosocial stressors, and the demands of nursing, including new technology that must be mastered, the emotional labor involved in nursing, physical labor, shift work, and high workload. This stress puts nurses at risk for short-term and long-term health problems, including sleep disorders, depression, mortality, psychiatric disorders, stress-related illnesses, and illness in general. Nurses are at risk of developing compassion fatigue and moral distress, which can worsen mental health. They also have very high rates of occupational burnout (40%) and emotional exhaustion (43.2%). Burnout and exhaustion increase the risk for illness, medical error, and suboptimal care provision.
Nurses are also at risk for violence and abuse in the workplace. Violence is typically perpetrated by non-staff (e.g. patients or family), whereas abuse is typically perpetrated by other hospital personnel. Of American nurses, 57% reported in 2011 that they had been threatened at work; 17% were physically assaulted.
There are 3 different types of workplace violence that nurses can experience. First, physical violence, which can be hitting, kicking, beating, punching, biting, and using objects to inflict force upon someone. Second, psychological violence is when something is done to impair another person through threats and/or coercion. Third, sexual violence which can include any completed or attempted non-consensual sexual act.
Workplace violence an also be categorized into two different levels, interpersonal violence and organizational coercion. Interpersonal violence could be committed by co-workers and/or patients by others in the hospital. The main form of this level is verbal abuse. Organizational coercion may include an irrationally high workload, forced shifts, forced placement in different wards of the hospital, low salaries, denial of benefits for overwork, poor working environment, and other workplace stressors. These problems can affect the quality of life for these nurses who may experience them. It can be extremely detrimental to nurses if their managers lack understanding of the severity of these problems and do not support the nurses through them.
There are many contributing factors to workplace violence. These factors can be divided into environmental, organizational, and individual psychosocial. The environmental factors can include the specific setting (for example the emergency department), long patient wait times, frequent interruptions, uncertainty regarding the patients’ treatment, and heavy workloads. Organizational factors can include inefficient teamwork, organizational injustice, lack of aggression and/or stress management programs, and distrust between colleagues. Individual psychosocial factors may include nurses being young and inexperienced, previous experiences with violence, and a lack of communication skills. Misunderstandings may also occur due to the communication barrier between nurses and patients. An example of this could be the patient’s condition being affected by medication, pain, and/or anxiety.
There are many causes of workplace violence. The most common perpetrators for harassment and/or bullying against nursing students were registered nurses including preceptors, mentors, and clinical facilitators. However, the main cause of workplace violence against nurses were patients. 80% of serious violence incidents in health care centers were due to the nurses’ interactions with patients.
There are many different effects of workplace violence in the field of Nursing. Workplace violence can have a negative impact on nurses both emotionally and physically. They feel depersonalized, dehumanized, fatigued, worn out, stressed out, and tired. Because of the severity of some incidents of violence, nurses have reported manifestations of burn-out due to the frequent exposure. This can heavily impact of a nurses’ mental health and cause nurses to feel unsatisfied with their profession and unsafe in their work environment.
There are a number of interventions that can mitigate the occupational hazards of nursing. They can be individual-focused or organization-focused. Individual-focused interventions include stress management programs, which can be customized to individuals. Stress management programs can reduce anxiety, sleep disorders, and other symptoms of stress. Organizational interventions focus on reducing stressful aspects of the work environment by defining stressful characteristics and developing solutions to them. Using organizational and individual interventions together is most effective at reducing stress on nurses. In some Japanese hospitals, powered exoskeletons are used. Lumbar supports (ie back belts) have also been trialled.