Introduction:Establishing a professional conduct is a prerequisite for establishing control over one’s practice. Knowledge, competence, appearance and teamwork are the factors that make a nurse a professional. Personal attributes like respect for others, integrity, positive attitude and compassion will make one’s life easy as a nurse. Professional behavior can be divided into basic and advanced. Basic professional behavior include: honesty, integrity, reliability, dependability, accountability, respect, courtesy, professional appearance, discretion, confidentiality, professional communication, compassion, maintenance of appropriate boundaries, believing in and supporting colleagues and commitment to personal health. Advanced professional behavior include cultural humility and commitment to excellence and this will help to avoid bias that can flaw clinical practice and professional relationships. An advanced professional will be nonjudgmental to cultural differences.
Body: A nursing professional is expected to have professional knowledge, communication skill and competence, so as to deliver effective, safe and evidence based nursing care to patients. Knowledge can be defined as an understanding of information about a subject and it can be obtained by study or experience. Clinical care, research, education, policy and administration are different domains through which, nurses usually gain knowledge. Competency on the other hand refers to the ability of a nurse to recognize common factors that contribute to or adversely affect the physical, mental and social wellbeing of patients and clients and be able to take necessary action for the betterment. Accountability is an important basic professional trait, and it about taking responsibility for ones actions. The nurse’s ability to work independently and exercise his/her decision within the scope of practice, will determine his/her skill for autonomy. Nurses have made the profession proud, by also supporting and advocating many policies and causes that benefit people. Team members and fellow nurses are important social contacts in nurse’s life. Professional interaction with one’s colleagues and team members can contribute significantly to professional knowledge, confidence, quality of life and professional satisfaction. Professional inquisitiveness is yet another quality that makes a nurse open minded, and provides the desire to explore and learn new knowledge. It will improve one’s critical thinking ability as well. Effective Communication is a hallmark of a good professional. It is important to discuss with patients in a respectful manner and not loose ones composure during difficult interaction. Time management is a valuable professional trait. Planning, organizing, delegating and setting priority will help to effectively manage ones time. (Aacn.nche.edu,2015)
Nursing education is a process of learning and developing explicit set of behavior and values that helps a student become a professional. Nurses must have a strong sense of professional identity and commitment to professional values and ethics. Students often look up to the faculty for a professional role model. Hence it is important that the faculty act and behave in way to create a sense of pride and excitement about nursing, in students who chose the profession. Cognitive learning in addition to real world experiences, contributes to making the student, a nursing professional.
A nurses is expected to know the correct ethical conduct and act accordingly. Ethics is a system of valued behaviors and beliefs that help to determining the right and wrong of the profession and helps in making right judgements. It is important for right decision making. (Hood, Leddy & Pepper, 2006)
Conclusion: Lack of professional behavior will cause difficulty in getting hired and keeping a job. Unprofessional behavior can also degrade ones respect from colleagues and clients. In the worst case it can lead to legal consequences.
Aacn.nche.edu,.(2015). American Association of Colleges of Nursing/Home. Retrieved 15 July 2015, from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/
Hood,L.,Leddy,S., &Pepper,J. (2006).Leddy & Pepper’s conceptual bases of professional nursing.Philadelphia:Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.