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The nursing profession Proposal


The image of the nursing profession is rapidly changing in the society. The previous images of nurses dressed in nursing caps, competent and independent nurses from diverse backgrounds are quickly replacing starched uniforms. Latest images of thoughtful and experienced nurses attract most people to the line of work.

Gordon (2005) describes the previous iconic images of nurses to be similar to handmaiden, waiting for directions from the physician. The nursing profession has not been effective in publicizing the skills of nursing. The changing society needs to understand that the nursing profession also involves risks surveys and assessments, arranging for independent actions, handling of the client’s goals, and prioritizing care.

Nurses must create awareness of the skills and knowledge involved in professional nursing in order to maintain respect from the public (O’Mara, 1999). This begins by enlightening the student nurses on the cognitive skills of nursing in order to provide competent health care. They must also be aware of the tangible benefits of joining the nursing profession, apart from just caring for patients (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010).

Action plan for developing competency

Development of competency in student nurses is achievable through clinical practice, by practicing clinical skills as well as performing professional health care practices to the patients. These practices can assist the student nurses in gaining valuable experiences that are applicable in various clinical situations. They can achieve this full package of competency when guided well by mentors from school or the clinical mentors (Emmons, 1999).

These mentors can also assist in situations which pose to be difficult or when the students need guidance or assistance. The clinical performance of students can assessed through the strategies set for clinical competency and evaluation to check the skills, knowledge and attitudes adopted by the students during training (Cronenwett et al, 2007). These assessments need to be done frequently with reports on the feedback to encourage prompt achievement of the learning objectives.

The strategies for assessing competency include self-evaluation and field evaluation. Self-evaluation emphasizes on the philosophical approach of the training, and offers chances for reflection and analysis of clinical performance by the students. Self-evaluation also strengthens the student’s competencies and improves their skills of critical thinking.

This process also allows the students to experience a deeper understanding of the connection between knowledge, practice, patients, and the environment (Zimmerman and Phillips, 2000). Self-evaluation leads to advanced consolidation of professional ethics, values and attitudes of the students.

Field evaluation, on the other hand, assists in identifying the problems or challenges encountered by students in the process of clinical performance, thus the mentors can be able to implement immediate supportive and remedial action. Field experience is quite useful in assisting the students to meet their target objectives i.e. both short and long-term educational goals. It should be seen as positive in preparation for future clinical practice.

The action plan should include the following programs or measures. There should be provisions for nursing internships in the health facilities, as well as mentors to guide the students. The hospitals can also organize volunteer programs to offer opportunities for the student nurses to establish client contact as they practice the theory they learnt in nursing school.

The health care sector needs to establish a partnership program in order to encourage diversity when recruiting nursing students from diverse backgrounds. This partnership can also explore the option of establishing community based nurse navigator systems.

Nursing profession is capable of attracting many students if the picture of nursing was portrayed to be comparable to an intellectually demanding vocation, instead of the representation of a virtuous or female occupation (Hoke, 2006). The various elements of competency, therefore, must be achieved when preparing students for the nursing profession, and these elements include self, intelligence, skill and ‘other focused’.

The students must be taught how to think critically in order to be able to make effective evaluations and promote positive outcomes or results from caring for the patients. The students also need to know the importance of self-awareness as this factor of confidence correlates directly with competence. Competence can be instilled into the nursing students because it is a requirement for effective communication and interaction with the patients, as well as with other healthcare professionals.

There are eight important attributes of competency that need to be taught to the nursing students in preparation for the nursing career. These include communication skills, teaching skills, leadership skills, evaluation and intervention skills, critical thinking skills, knowledge integration skills, relationship or human caring skills, and management skills (Lenburg, Klein, Abdur-Rahman, Spencer, & Boyer, 2009).

Competency can also be promoted by teaching the student nurses the informatics agenda, due to the changing trend of the society, especially in the world of technology. Effective informatics competencies can also be promoted in order to provide safe and quality care. This can be achieved by participation of the students in faculty development programs in order to learn informatics competency, or by incorporating informatics lessons into the curriculum (Barton, 2005).


Nursing students need to recognize competency as an indispensable tool for a successful clinical practice. The curriculum for teaching nursing can also emphasize on the importance of motivation in dealing with intellectual challenges, and ultimately yielding competent nurses. Improvement of the skills of critical thinking and reflection by the intentional use of dissonance can be utilized in order to encourage transformative learning (Forbes & Hickey, 2009).


Barton, A. J. (2005). Cultivating informatics competencies in a community of practice. Nursing Administration Quarterly, 29(4), 323-328.

Benner, P., Sutphen, M., Leonard, V., & Day, L. (2010). Educating nurses: A call for radical transformation. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Cronenwett, L., Sherwood, G., Barnsteiner, J. & Warren, J. (2007). Quality and safety education for nurses. Nursing Outlook, 55, 122-131.

Emmons, R. A. (1999). The psychology of ultimate concerns: Motivation and spirituality in personality. New York, NY: Guilford.

Forbes, M. O., & Hickey, M. T. (2009). Curriculum reform in baccalaureate nursing education: Review of the literature. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 6(1), 7.

Gordon, S. (2006). What do nurses really do? Topics in Advanced Practice Nursing eJournal, 6. Retrieved from

Hoke, J. L. (2006). Promoting nursing as a career choice. Nursing Economics, 24(2), 94-100.

Lenburg, C. B., Klein, C., Abdur-Rahman, V., Spencer, T., & Boyer, S. (2009). The COPA model: A comprehensive framework designed to promote quality care and competence for patient safety. Nursing Education Perspectives, 30, 312-317.

O’Mara, A. (1999).Interpersonal relationships: Professional communication skills for nurses (3rd ed., pp. 496-523). Philadelphia, PA: Saunders.

Zimmerman, B. J., & Phillips, C. Y. (2000). Affective learning: Stimulus to critical thinking and caring practice. Journal of Nursing Education, 39(9), 422-423.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The nursing profession'. 17 December.

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