Professionalism Assignment





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Professionalism Assignment

Nursing is a profession that has advanced significantly. Nurses can now practice autonomously without working under physicians (Stievano et al., 2019). This discussion delves into nursing as a profession and how that is evidenced in practice and can be applied to advance professionalism. The discussion commences by distinguishing a job and a profession before describing nursing as a profession. After that, deontological ethics is described as a framework that has promoted professionalism in nursing practice.  

Job vs. Profession

Although the terms job and profession are often used interchangeably, they have significant differences. Specifically, a job is a set of activities performed for a wage or salary. In other words, jobs aim at delivering financial benefits. Contrastingly, a profession is a vocation based on specialized education and training. A person becomes a professional after undergoing regulated formal education, training, internship or apprenticeship, and has been certified by a recognized organization (Kosmidis, Koutsouki & Theofanidis, 2021). Specifically, the scope of work of a professional is defined and fixed, while a job may vary in the types of activities performed, provided they deliver monetary gains. Also, a profession requires certification following extensive education and training from a recognized institution, while a job can be performed without any formal training.  Roles are more flexible in a job than in a profession, unless one has trained formally in several professions. Similarly, a profession comes with specialized skills that set it apart from a job, in which skills can be diverse and acquired informally through experience (Stievano et al., 2019). Finally, a profession requires continuous updating of knowledge and skills, while a job relies on one’s willingness for skill upgrading.

In my view, professionalism is the consistent conduct of oneself to achieve exemplary outcomes based on set standards. Professionalism is demonstrated by attitudes, actions, and behaviors that befit a highly skilled individual. In this regard, being a doctor is a profession requires extensive training in medical school. However, dressing wounds is a job that does not require specialized knowledge and training and can be learned informally or experientially. Similarly, architecture is a profession requiring vast knowledge and accreditation, while bricklaying or hauling building materials are jobs that an unskilled or semiskilled worker can perform.

Nursing as a Profession

Nursing is a profession rather than a job because it requires highly-specialized skills acquired through extensive education and training, and certification. In other words, nursing is characterized by a systematic body of knowledge and skills providing a professional practice framework after undergoing standardized and formal higher education and accreditation. Formal education required to become a nurse is at least an associate degree, a two-year undergraduate qualification often awarded by colleges and universities, or a bachelor’s degree following the completion of a four-year nursing program. These credentials would allow the graduate to enter the nursing profession as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN), respectively. However, upon completing the basic formal education, the nurse must be licensed to practice after passing the national licensure examination (Marquis & Huston, 2020). In addition, a registered nurse can advance his or her profession by attaining advanced degrees and being certified as a specialist. Besides, nursing has set standards for professional practice and conduct, distinguishing it from other healthcare professions.

Ethical Framework(s) and Application

Deontology is the ethical framework applicable to my future career as a nursing professional. Deontological ethics is a primary ethical framework that guides nursing practice and is instrumental in defining nursing professionalism. This framework emphasizes the linkage between duty and morality of human actions by advancing that actions are considered good morally because they are good actions and not because they have good consequences (Marquis & Huston, 2020). Therefore, some actions are morally obligated even when they may cause harm to people. In this regard, nursing practice is guided by this ethical framework when nurses are obligated to act morally to all people regardless of the outcomes of their actions. In other words, they are bound by the duty of care, and the end does not justify the means (Silva et al., 2018). In healthcare and nursing, ethical conduct is bound by codes that help the practitioners make ethical decisions and act ethically to uphold the moral obligations of their professions. For instance, nurses in the United States are guided by specific rules and practice standards stipulated in the American Nursing Association Code of Ethics for Nurses and the American Nurses Association Standards of Practice (Marquis & Huston, 2020). These codes define what the moral actions of nurses are and promote professionalism in nursing practice because they guide the relationship between nurses and patients, colleagues, healthcare organizations, government, community, and the public.

As an advanced nursing practitioner, I would apply this framework to justify administering patients with medications that may have serious side effects because it is the right thing to offer such medication. However, I would have to inform the patients of the harm that such medications would present despite promising beneficial health outcomes.  

Summary and Future Plans

I plan to maintain high levels of professionalism as a nursing practitioner, considering that there are high demands for quality services and care placed on nurses by patients and other critical stakeholders. Besides, I intend to work in multi-professional teams and relate with my team members professionally to provide high-quality services. Therefore, I plan to work in diverse healthcare settings to broaden my experience and diversify my professionalism. This is critical because I intend to advance in my nursing career, which will require that I collaborate more with other healthcare professionals and advance nursing practice.  


Kosmidis, D., Koutsouki, S., & Theofanidis, D. (2021). Values in nursing and the virtues of the profession: A systematic critical review. Health & Research Journal7(4), 219-232.

Marquis, B. L., & Huston, C. J. (2020). Leadership roles and management functions in nursing: Theory and application. 10th ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Silva, T. N. D., Freire, M. E. M., Vasconcelos, M. F. D., Silva Junior, S. V. D., Silva, W. J. D. C., Araújo, P. D. S., & Eloy, A. V. A. (2018). Deontological aspects of the nursing profession: Understanding the code of ethics. Revista Brasileira de Enfermagem71, 3-10.

Stievano, A., Caruso, R., Pittella, F., Shaffer, F. A., Rocco, G., & Fairman, J. (2019). Shaping nursing profession regulation through history–a systematic review. International Nursing Review66(1), 17-29.

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