Nursing is a big career field. So if you decide to go into the field of nursing, there
are still many questions that have to be answered. A nursing student has to know what
type of nursing he or she wants to go into, where he or she wants to practice nursing,
and how he or she plans to achieve career goals. However, before that, you have to make
the decision to pursue a career in nursing, and in order to do that, you have to know
what, exactly, nursing is. There must be an answer to the question "What is nursing?"
Generally, nursing is thought of as a helping medical profession. Nurses help physicians
and health care professionals by gathering information about patients, carrying out
interventions, and monitoring a patient's status. Nurses help patients by helping them
achieve their health goals, and providing personal care they cannot do themselves, such
as bathing, sitting up, or basic hygiene functions. However, the care nurses provide for
patients is usually thought of from the perspective of medicine and health care.
It's true that nursing is a health care profession. Nurses must go through medical
and scientific education and training in order to prepare them for their responsibilities
in a hospital, clinic, or other health care setting. The education they receive ranges
from anatomy and physiology to information about prescription medications and specific
medical procedures. However, many nurses prefer to look at their careers as a sort of
customer service position. That is, they work with patients to get them healthy, but
their focus is on helping patients.
While the education and training of nurses is largely scientific and medicinal, when
nurses spend time in observation or doing clinicals while they are still students, it
is to prepare them for the human interaction aspect of nursing. Just as nurses must
learn to start an I.V. or chart a patient's history, he or she must also learn to talk
to patients and judge their needs based on what they see. In this way, nursing is not
simply a science-based health care profession. It is a helping profession.
When defining nursing, it is also important to consider the different types and fields
of nursing. Some nurses work exclusively with infants, while others work with the elderly.
Some nurses prefer emergency or critical care, while others want to work in hospice or
rehabilitation. Still other nurses work with whole communities rather than individual
patients through public health. Each of these types of nursing carries a different set
of responsibilities, which changes the definition of nursing for that particular field.
For example, emergency nurses primary concern is getting a patient stable, so they focus
on the medicine. A public health nurse, on the other hand, focuses on educating patients
and preventing illness and disease. Each field of nursing puts a nurse in a very different
role, and the role of a nurse is what provides the definition. When nursing is looked at
from that perspective, it is difficult to provide a cohesive definition for the field of
Throughout the history of nursing, nursing theorists have provided definitions of nursing
that fit into the frameworks of their nursing models. And while each of these definitions
is different based on the roles and responsibilities those nursing models assign to nurses,
the underlying definition is the same. Nursing is a professional medical field that allows
nurses to help people achieve their individual goals toward health. And while the details
of what nursing is may change from nurse to nurse or from year to year, the fact remains
that nursing is, at its heart, a helping profession.