Professional Identity of Nurses

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Professional identity encompasses an individual’s professional concept based on such elements as motives, attributes, and experiences. In the context health and human service delivery, professional identity involves the use of the motives, attributes, and experiences to provide care for patients in conformity with the set standards (Rocha & Rocha, 2014). The nursing field is one of the areas where professional identity is needed. If patients do not get care based on what the nurses are trained on and the conventional standards, there are chances that the quality of health care will be compromised (Yoder, 2017). The nurses’ conformity with their professional identity dramatically depends on the standards set by the industry, professional and quality agencies that are associated with setting standards, guidelines and the codes of practice.

One of the agencies that set industry, professional and quality standards to guide the practice of nurses is Australian Primary Health Care Association. The sole mandate of the body is to ensure that all the nurses conform to the quality standards that guide their service delivery. The agency insists that the nurses should handle the patients using evidence-based knowledge (Yoder, 2017). The Nursing and Midwifery Council is another body that set professional and quality standards, especially for the midwives. Nurses are thus expected to follow these standards to act as a proof of their professional identity. American Nurses Association (ANA) also plays a vital role in setting the rules that the nurses are expected to conform with. ANA advocates for the safety of the patients and by insisting on the conformity of the nurses to proper guideline practices.

In the nursing field, the standards, guidelines, and codes of practice outlined by the above agencies play a vital role in the provision of quality healthcare and services (Yoder, 2017). Ideally, the quality standards and guidelines give the nurses an insight of what their profession expects of them. In as much as nurses’ training is the same, disparities exist depending on the institution that one attends. As such, the nursing guidelines and standards act as a reminder of what the profession expects of the nurses.

The guidelines and quality standards are equally vital in directing professional practice among nurses. Ideally, the employers and other stakeholders in the healthcare sector may want to assess the quality of care provided by nurses in a particular facility (Akhtar-Danesh et al., 2013). To achieve their goals, they need to have a checklist of what they should expect. As such, they will have an idea of the quality of service provided by nurses in such a facility.

The standards, guidelines, and codes of practice are equally vital in ensuring that the nurses develop core competencies. Different healthcare facilities have specific core competencies that should guide the practice of the nurses (Akhtar-Danesh et al., 2013). A nurse is only deemed to be competent if he or she operates within the competency framework outlined by the regulatory and quality assurance. A qualified nurse is thus trusted with patients because, by the end of the day, he or she will deliver quality care to the patient.

The guidelines, standards, and codes of practice are equally vital in developing a better understanding and respect for the complementary roles that the nurses play in their service delivery. Nurses may have a difficult time understanding the additional roles that they are expected to play during as they work in healthcare facilities (Akhtar-Danesh et al., 2013). Such an understanding is best instilled in them through the standards, guidelines, and codes of practice. The four roles of standards, guidelines, and codes of conduct are vital in ensuring that professional identity is instilled in the nurses.

In as much as the quality standards guide the quality of services provided by the nurses, it is important to note that that the professional agencies monitor the quality of care and services provided by the nurses (Kleinpell, 2013). One of the most common measurement tools used is readmissions. When the quality of care for a particular condition is good in a healthcare facility, there are minimal chances of patient readmission for the same condition (Rocha & Rocha, 2014). The healthcare agencies rely on the knowledge to identify whether the quality of services provided by the nurses meets the standards set by the agencies. Most of the healthcare facilities have faced fine because of readmissions that occur within short time periods. Nurses are thus expected to strive as much as they can to ensure that the cases of readmissions are minimized.

The other valuable tool used to monitor the quality of care is the patient’s recovery period (Kleinpell, 2013). In most of the cares, the representatives of the bodies review the charts of different patients to know the quality of care that is given to them. Ideally, with proper medical care, the recovery period of the patients should be less depending on the conditions that the patients are suffering from. The nurses are expected to deliver quality services to the patients within the shortest time possible to guarantee their recovery and consequent discharge.

In some of the cases, the representatives of the quality agencies are forced to examine the mortality rates of patients in a given medical facility (Kleinpell, 2013). The idea is that if the mortality rate is higher compared to other facilities for the same condition, the chances are that the services delivered by the nurses do not meet the needs of the patients and as such, measures should be taken to prevent the death toll from increasing (Kleinpell, 2013). The healthcare facilities where nurses follow proper guidelines record the lowest mortality rates because they stick to evidence-based practice as outlined by the agencies in the guidelines. Estimation of mortality rates is perhaps the worst tool that can be used to measure nurses’ adherence to the guidelines (Douglas et al., 2014). It is the responsibility of the nursing managers to collaborate and conduct internal assessments from time to time to ensure that the quality of services provided by the nurses meets the set standards. In such a manner, the lives of many patients will be saved.

In conclusion, professional identity in the nursing sector is one of the most vital aspects of the nursing profession. The nurses are expected to use the professional attributes, motives, and experience to impact the lives of the patients and ensure that the quality of services provided addresses the needs of the patients. As stated, different agencies have been in the forefront to ensure that the nurses are given guidelines that will act as a checklist for the services that they provide in the healthcare facilities. To ensure that the nurses stick to the set guidelines, different measurement tools are used. One of the most common tools that has led to significant improvements is readmission. Mortality rates have equally been used to identify the prevalence of certain conditions.


Akhtar-Danesh, N., Baumann, A., Kolotylo, C., Lawlor, Y., Tompkins, C., & Lee, R. (2013). Perceptions of professionalism among nursing faculty and nursing students. Western journal of nursing research, 35(2), 248-271.

Douglas, M. K., Rosenkoetter, M., Pacquiao, D. F., Callister, L. C., Hattar-Pollara, M., Lauderdale, J., ... & Purnell, L. (2014). Guidelines for implementing culturally competent nursing care. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 25(2), 109-121.

Kleinpell, R. M. (2013). Outcome assessment in advanced practice nursing. Springer Publishing Company.

Rocha, A., & Rocha, B. (2014). Adopting nursing health record standards. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 39(1), 1-14.

Yoder, L. (2017). professionalism in Nursing. MedSurg Nursing, 26(5), 293-295.

October 13, 2023

Health Profession



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