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Is Nursing a Profession or a Trade?

Is Nursing a Profession or a Trade?

Marijke Durning | NursingLink

LPNs and RNs must be certified and licensed in the state in which they are employed. Tradesmen, like mechanics, aren’t. But – and this is an important distinction – it is possible to become a certified mechanic if you are learning specific skills and are a master mechanic. You may only call yourself a master mechanic if you have done all the appropriate learning and passed all the required testing. You also need to be kept up-to-date on the latest information in your field.

Furthermore, achieving a university degree is an educational accomplishment, giving a nurse the skills and experience needed to do what those without a degree can’t. Be it a bachelor’s, master’s, or a doctorate, the academic credentials put a nurse on par with professionals in other industries, such as social workers, physiotherapist, dieticians, and teachers.

Nurses who hold a BSN work on the floors (trade), before moving to the ICU (professional), but can easily ends up working on a med-surg floor because of a move and change of workplace. Does this make nursing a trade? Or is it once a professional, always a professional?

Does it Matter?

Does nursing have to be designated as a trade or a profession? Does labeling nursing as a profession give us the respect we so desperately crave? Or maybe we are looking at the whole “professional” angle in the wrong light.

You don’t need to be a “professional” to act professionally. The way you hold yourself, the way you speak and act, and the way you do your work, speaks volumes about your professionalism. The store clerk down the street may be a cashier, but she can present herself very professionally if she chooses, as can the janitor at the school, and the bus driver who brings you to and from work every day. Maybe this is what we need to strive for: Acting professionally. Perhaps once all nurses realize that how we look, speak, and present ourselves plays a big role in how society perceives us, we may then take our place as professionals.

What do you think? Join the Discussion >>

Next: Which Nursing Degree is Right for You? >>


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  • Smurfnurse_max50

    Inara

    over 4 years ago

    64 comments

    @johnhwoo but I think there's a point to be made. Nurses with more certifications/degrees/education shouldn't be considered at the same level as nurses without that kind of merit. Otherwise, what's the point of earning those distinctions?

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    marpatrob

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    I think that nursng is a trade. True professioals are not told what uniforms to wear, what time to show up on a job, have to punch a clock and have so many regulations in place. I therefore see it as a trade show that wants to make its way into the professional realm.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    lralkhatib

    over 4 years ago

    2094 comments

    of course its a profession not trade or a business.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    johnhwoo

    over 4 years ago

    14 comments

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    johnhwoo

    over 4 years ago

    14 comments

    It's a profession, no contest.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    RNinCA

    over 4 years ago

    4 comments

    Nursing in its current iteration is labor - while other healthcare practitioners with more narrow scopes of practice have intelligently moved toward increasing entry level education requirements (to the doctorate level) and thus independence, nursing has chosen to require less - a choice inspired by employers and appreciated by those who want a relatively short path toward employment. The choice is short sighted though as it has resulted in the current level of discord and inability to muster the incredible political potential of over 3 million RNs in the US. Nurses remind me of crabs trying to escape a boiling pot - as some try to climb up others pull them down...........

  • 129_max50

    Protoplasm

    over 4 years ago

    204 comments

    I think the more we feed into small and insignificant details like the differences between what a profession and a trade are the more we get nowhere. If we put or minds to it, why not create an entire new term of our own? We should not fight amongst ourselves or society. Is not Trade an often close and interchangeable term for profession? and are they not one in the same and but also different,which is possible, there are many words like this. To me a Trade is a skill set or vocation involving a career or job set certification, where a profession can be using different trades together in a career, job or a vocation derived from acedemic education. If there can be an intermediate term applied to those between a professional and a tradesmen, I always think of an apprenticeship or internship sometimes a resident. Does a nurse not have to educate and train other nurses? In so me cases yes, just as doctors do, we need more leaders in nursing, who will stand up for what is right and true.I may not have the experience to say this, but I speak from my heart.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    genefran

    over 4 years ago

    10 comments

    I disagree with the bachelor argument in this article. Many of us are associate degree nurse's. While a bachelor degree looks good and should be obtained. I have met several that lack the skills to perform basic nursing but can talk a good game. They might advance, but than they could also be blamed for so much incompetence seen in upper management in the hospital system found here in America. The out of touch behavior with what goes on daily at the bedside. It is unfortunate we lack respect for those that perform the most necessary work in society and the ones that truely perform the services the client came to receive in the first place.

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    Account Removed

    over 4 years ago

    L. Gray RN, BSN, PHN I have been a bedside nurse (Labor and Delivery) for 24 years and have branched out into patient and staff teaching. I love the bedside and my patients as well as the teaching I do. My problem with professionalism was with some staff members and MDs who were not "professionals" and jeopardized patient safety and care due to their laziness. When I spoke up (whistle blower), I was terminated for a bogus "poor performance". It seems that the hospitals, JCAHO, or the state and federal agencies are protecting patients. I am horrified to see what is ignored and occurring in hospitals now.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    bushrn

    over 4 years ago

    2 comments

    i have my ADN in nursing, and as my own choice i choose not to further my education unless forced to, i absolutly love being a bedside nurse, i feel as though i make a difference in the lives of my patients and families, even if im not thought of as a "professional" i treat my patients, coworkers and management, doctors etc with the utmost respect and professionalism that comes with only 20 years of beside nursing. And as a result i receive the utmost respect and professionalism from the doctors, coworkers and patients as well as there family.... I love critical care nursing and would never consider wanting to change my bedside nursing abilities.

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