N108: Transition to the Registered Professional Nurse Role Study Guide • Personal and interpersonal characteristics: Ethical behavior and specialized expertise • Specialized education: Currently nursing has five levels of education, and three of these levels allow for entry into practice (the fact that there are so many routes to enter the practice had led some to reject calling nursing a profession) • Shared personal values: Identification of oneself as part of the profession of nursing • Competency and professional licensure Is nursing a profession? Does having a unique body of knowledge, expertise, autonomy, service, and education make someone a professional? Some question whether nursing has achieved the status of profession, believing that it falls short in autonomy and independence of practice. Nursing has made great strides in these areas, but many believe that there is still work to be done. Roles of the Professional Nurse Role Description Caregiver The most visible role of the professional nurse, which includes more than just the physical but also encompasses psychosocial, developmental, cultural, and spiritual levels. Communicator The quality of a nurse’s communication can have life-threatening consequences. Effective communication is an important aspect in quality patient care. Teacher Teaching is an independent nursing action. Nurses assess their patient’s learning needs, set goals, enact teaching strategies, and evaluate learning all in collaboration with the patient. Patient Advocate Advocating is an essential component of the nursing practice. In 1900, Isabel Hampton Robb called for nurses to have “unquestioning obedience” to physicians and supervisors, but today the ultimate responsibility is to the patient. Counselor Supporting patients emotionally, intellectually, and psychologically is an essential component of professional nursing practice. Leader Nurses are leaders influencing others to work together to accomplish a goal. The Institute of Medicines’ report “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change Advancing Health” states that, “although the public is not used to viewing nurses as leaders and not all nurses begin their careers with thoughts of becoming a leader, all nurses must be leaders in the design, implementation, and evaluation of – as well as advocacy for – the ongoing reforms to the system that will be needed.” Manager Nurses are managers of care, managing the care of individuals and families, including the delegation and supervision process. Case Manager A more formal function is acting as case manager, which includes working with the inter-professional team to measure effectiveness of care and influence outcomes.