Introduction to Nursing

Definition of nursing

The Oxford English Dictionary defines nursing as “the profession or practice of providing care for the sick and infirm” (Oxford Living Dictionaries, 2017). However, much as nursing is concerned with providing healthcare during treatment and palliative care of the sick and infirm, it also includes providing preventive healthcare to people who are well. Nursing is therefore important in healthcare by promoting good health through enabling treatment and prevention of sickness and illness. According to the American Nursing Association, this is by enabling desired “responses to actual or potential health problems” by individuals, families and or groups ranging from individual healing to an illness episode, enabling dignified death, and also policy development of a population’s long-term health (Meleis, 2011).  The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that nurses’ duties include patient care provision, patient assessment, nursing care plan development and also education of patients and the general population about their health conditions and interventions.

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Hence, nursing encompasses healthcare provision for populations of all demographics especially people with physical and mental illnesses and those with disabilities. Nursing is consequently practiced in healthcare institutions such as hospitals, public health departments and care facilities as well as in schools, businesses and private houses.

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Barriers to nursing

One of the major barriers to the nursing profession is lack of time. Nursing often requires customization to the needs of a patient or population based on evidence collected. This evidence-based practice nursing requires time so as to be fully effective; a resource that is often lacking.

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Other barriers to the nursing profession are associated with individual nurses, the organization offering the nursing services, research information and the healthcare environment. Individual nurses may lack adequate knowledge, skills and attitudes, they may feel overwhelmed by the workload or information, or they may lack the required confidence, authority and cooperation to carry out their work (Bradshaw and Hultquist, 2016). Organizations also pose barriers to nursing by having many patients to attend to, poor resources including staff and money, and bad organizational culture that could include poor mentorship, support and communication ((Bradshaw and Hultquist, 2016)) Research information may be too scholarly or too sketchy to be adequately. The healthcare environment poses a barrier to nursing practice if it curtails research and implementation of best practice.

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Professional socialization

A nursing student’s initial perception of the profession is transformed in nursing schools through professional socialization. The socialization is achieved by acquiring the nursing profession’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, behaviors, norms, values and roles. These professional attributes are internalized to the student’s personal self-concept and behavior to build a professional nurse identity (Lai and Lim, 2012). Nursing professional socialization is hence a process and an outcome. It involves transmission of a nursing professional’s attributes and the consequent formation of the self-concept as a professional nurse. It requires a clear understanding of nursing and how to adopt in an ever-evolving profession by developing innovative solutions to barriers in nursing.

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