Is Nursing a Profession or a Trade?
Marijke Durning | NursingLink
RNs with a bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) or who went on to get a BSN after obtaining a diploma or ADN, have a four-year university degree from a recognized university. This degree gives them more options in the field of nursing, for career advancement or career changes into more critical areas of nursing.
A master’s degree in nursing (MSN) is increasingly popular among nurses because it allows nurses to go into advanced nursing fields, such as becoming a nurse practitioner, teaching, or administration. Rarely will you see a nurse with an MSN doing floor care, but they do perform hands-on care if they are nurse practitioners.
A nurse who obtains a doctorate in nursing (Ph.D.) is one who is either into research, teaching, or even policy making. Someone with a doctorate will be less hands-on as a nurse, and instead, more responsible for developing educational programs or policies and procedures for other nurses to follow.
In any profession, someone with a Ph.D. would be considered a professional, taking into account the years of study and work that go into obtaining such a high level of learning.
So, Profession or Trade?
If we can’t figure out if nursing is a profession or a trade, can it be split according to education and position? Those who are entering the ranks at floor level would be the technicians or the tradesmen, while those who enter at management or advanced clinical care levels would be professionals. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Not so fast.
LPNs and RNs with diplomas and ADNs, can be seen as the equivalent as someone who went to technical school for two years to learn how to fix a car. Both groups have learned specific skill sets for their tasks. They have to learn specific assessment skills, to discover what may need to be done. They both need to follow certain protocols and perform their tasks within a specific framework.