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1 Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research | January-February 2014 | Vol. 19 | Issue 1
Nursing professionalism: An evolutionary concept analysis
Fataneh Ghadirian1, Mahvash Salsali1, Mohammad Ali Cheraghi1
Background: Professionalism is an important feature of the professional jobs. Dynamic nature and the various interpretations of this
term lead to multiple deﬁ nitions of this concept. The aim of this paper is to identify the core attributes of the nursing professionalism.
Materials and Methods: We followed Rodgers’ evolutionary method of concept analysis. Texts published in scientiﬁ c databases
about nursing professionalism between 1980 and 2011 were assessed. After applying the selection criteria, the ﬁ nal sample
consisting of 4 books and 213 articles was selected, examined, and analyzed in depth. Two experts checked the process of
analysis and monitored and reviewed them.
Results: The analysis showed that nursing professionalism is determined by three attributes of cognitive, attitudinal, and
psychomotor. In addition, the most important antecedents concepts were demographic, experiential, educational, environmental,
and attitudinal factors.
Conclusion: Nursing professionalism is an inevitable, complex, varied, and dynamic process. In this study, the importance, scope,
and concept of professionalism in nursing, the concept of a beginning for further research and development, and expanding the
nursing knowledge are explained and clariﬁ ed.
Key words: Analysis, concept, Iran, nursing, professional
1Department of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Tehran University
of Medical Sciences, Towhid Sq, Tehran, Iran
Address for correspondence: Dr. Fatataneh Ghadirian,
Student of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery,
Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Towhid Sq, Tehran, Iran.
professionalization in nursing due to their high workload
and part-time work. At that time, some factors such
as slow formation of scientific fundamentals of nursing,
disagreement in educational requirements for nurses,[10,12,13]
lack of academic education at the entry level of nursing
courses, and lack of theory and theory-based research
were considered as barriers for nursing as a profession.
Gradually, development of education standards and
professional certificates led nursing move to professional
status. Having stronger powerful basis for theory and
practice and professional education in nursing discipline
brought about social cognition. Social understanding
about nursing made the society consider nurses as cost–
benefit health care providers and independent decision
makers. Therefore, nursed could receive more funds and
governmental financial aids.
Today’s rapid changes in value systems in society caused
nursing to encounter more ethical and philosophical
challenges at providing care to its clients. These changes also
created new nursing environments that require professional
nursing. Accordingly, nursing professionalization definition
and its attributes need to be clarified and adapted with rapid
changes. For this purpose, concept analysis is a suitable
Concepts are the building blocks of theories. They have
important role in theory development. Concept analysis
is one of the strategies in concept development. In this
P“rofessionalization” is an important characteristic of
in-service careers. The concept of professionalization
is expressed in the terminology of many job groups
and has a long history, especially in social context. Dynamic
feature and multiple interpretations of professionalization
result in numerous definitions with different functions
and nature. Over the years, many people spoke about
professionalization in nursing and its features. Therefore,
there are multiple definitions and characteristics for
professionalization in nursing.[3-5] Also, researchers
used different methods and tools for its assessment and
Nursing profession status is an inter-profession and
intra-profession challenge. Whether there is nursing
professionalism or not is a challenge among the nurses,
sociologists, and historians.[6-10] For many years, other
scientists considered nursing as a semi-professional
career. Until 1970, nursing profession was considered as
a female work and women were considered as barriers to
Ghadirian, et al.: Nursing professionalism
Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research | January-February 2014 | Vol. 19 | Issue 1 2
strategy, the basic elements of a concept for understanding
its structure and function are assessed. During concept
analysis process, a researcher, theorist, or clinician becomes
familiar with different attributes and definitions of concept
and its function.
Evolutionary approach of Rodgers in concept analysis is
based on contemporary philosophical thinking on concepts
and their roles in knowledge development. In this approach,
dynamic features of concepts over time and different social
contexts are emphasized. Form evolutionary perspective,
instead of emphasis on “what is it?,” more discovery and
assessment are mostly focused. Consequently, this process
results in a form of cyclical concept development. With this
approach, the final results are the starting point for more
concept analysis. Purpose of concept analysis in this
approach is to explain the concept and its attributes more
clearly for its further development.
Accordingly, the purpose of the current study is assessment
of “nursing professionalization” concept to understand
more about its attributes, antecedents, and consequences.
Since the contemporary nursing believed human and
other nursing phenomena have constantly a changing and
interrelated context, it seems that nursing professionalization
is also better understood in the context. This perspective is
congruent with evolutionary approach in concept analysis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
While there are several methods of concept analysis,
an evolutionary approach was selected as the concept of
nursing professionalization depends on the context and
can be interpreted only when the different parameters
appear in a specific context. Although this approach of
studying recommends six preliminary activities[Table1],
Rogers believes that many of these activities take place
simultaneously during the study. Study process has a
non-linear, rotational, and flexible nature. The six stages
merely indicate activities that should take place during
the study, and it should not be regarded as a continuous
process. In this way, Rogers uses inductive approach and
detailed analysis and focuses on the collection and analysis
of raw data. In this approach, concepts in the specific social
and cultural context of a given profession are studied.[17,20]
After identifying the concept of interest, the most important
step is determining the scope and range of literature.
The scientific databases, PubMed, CINAHL, MEDLINE,
ProQuest, and EBM REVIEW, were searched. In a
preliminary search, the term “professional nurse” was used.
Next, to achieve more precise results, the inclusion criteria
were identified. The main criterion for inclusion in the
final analysis was the literature published in English from
1980 to 2011 in the context of nursing and health sciences.
The exclusion criterion was non-English language articles.
Preliminary results of the search gave 250 articles meeting
the inclusion criteria, and after deleting the duplicated
items(14 items), the number decreased to about 236.
In the final stage, 213 articles had the term “professional
nurse” in their title or abstract, and their full texts, if
available and that too in the nursing field, were chosen.
In addition, four books were used in the analysis process
to cover the subjects. Books and papers were carefully
reviewed and studied. For analyzing, thematic analysis
and content analysis were used. All articles in the context
of nursing were exactly read, and hints and useful features,
antecedents, consequences, related concepts, surrogate
terms, and definition of concept were extracted. Then, the
data were reviewed several times to allow the researcher
to be immersed in, and this enabled deriving key tags and
notes to provide clear explanations about every aspect of
the concept. Overall, inductive analysis of data was done
and themes were identified. Information units consisted
of the words and sentences related to the information or
responses concerning the following questions: What are the
specific characteristics of professional nursing? How do you
define nursing professionalization? How do you pretend
nursing professionalization? What factors are associated
with the incidence of professional nursing? What are the
consequences or outcomes of nursing professionalization?
Papers based on conceptual analysis of studied information
were grouped. In order to ensure impartiality, reliability,
and bias reduction, the analysis process was checked by
two nursing experts in concept analysis.
Identification of the characteristics of the concept is the
first stage of the analysis that leads to the actual definition
of the concept.[20,21] Characteristics of a concept, including
features and specifications of a concept that have been
Tablez1: Rodgers’ evolutionary concept analysis process
Identify the concept of interest
Identify surrogate terms and relevant uses for the concept
Identify and select an appropriate realm for data collection
Collect data relevant to identify the
Attributes of the concept and
The contextual basis of the concept including interdisciplinary
socio-cultural and temporal variations
Analyze data regarding the above characteristics of the concepts
Identify an exemplar of the concept, if appropriate
Identify implications hypotheses and implications for further
development of the concept
Source: Evolutionary concept analysis activities (Rodgers, 2000, p.85)
Ghadirian, et al.: Nursing professionalism
3 Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research | January-February 2014 | Vol. 19 | Issue 1
permanently associated with the concept, help identify the
clarity, breadth, and depth of that concept. In this study,
the conceptual dimensions of nursing professionalization
were identified as cognitive, affective, and psychomotor
Cognitive dimension of nursing professionalization
Nursing education should be able to develop professional
knowledge. All learners should have a basic cognitive
framework for understanding the professionalization. It
seems that getting all the essential aspects of professional
knowledge in all phases of professionalization must be
considered and principles of professionalization must be
combined at different levels of professional education.
Learner development begins from a basic understanding
of the underlying principles of professional conduct and
the underlying reasons, and ultimately, the learner should
be able to prioritize and make decisions.
Walton et¬al.(2010) assigned five stages of training to
professional nurse education as follows: (1) create a
practical fake identity of a professional nurse in students,
(2) trial and error, (3) the seriousness of the conduct;
(4) transfer to the bedside, and 5) professionalization.
Some studies suggest that certain training courses such as
ethics, research, or professionalization should be included in
the professional training program in nursing. Professional
training courses can be temporary and occur during periods
of formal or informal education. Professional training in
formal programs can be provided with specific workshops
and courses of training development modules, working
in small groups on problem-solving, use of role play,
simulated patients, or clinical courses. On the other
hand, usually students learn values and norms in informal
trainings.[30-34] For this purpose, there must be a professional
learning environment.[35-38] Role modeling and changing
the organizational culture can be effective in non-formal
education. Every training program should be designed
to meet the expectations concerning professionalization.
In the area of professional learning, continuing education
is very important. UKCCN(UnitedKingdom Central
Council for Nursing) states that all nurses should provide
a certificate of professional updating every 3years.
However, continuing education cannot be considered as
the only criterion and antecedent for professionalization, as
until mastery of knowledge is not combined with a personal
value system and transferred to action, it cannot have a
true function. Making this commitment to continuous
learning is the primary task of professional education.[43-45]
Attitudinal dimension of nursing professionalization
Values are beliefs and ideals that individuals and groups
possess. Professional values are practical standards
that create a framework for evaluation of attitudes and
ideas influencing behavior in professional clinicians.
Acquisition of professional values is the heart of professional
Many attitudinal items are discussed in the articles
and professional experiences concerning nursing
professionalization. Although professionalization is a
category related to culture, some of its properties are
mentioned as to be autonomous, cooperative, retained
jurisdiction, membership in professional organizations and
professional development, community service and social
services, compliance with codes of nursing, conduct and
evaluation of nursing theory.[49-55] Kim et¬al. stated that
the main features of the nursing professionalization values
are classified into three main groups: (1) personal-based
features such as the ability to understand the feelings and
problems of others, willingness to help others, ability to work
with others, tolerance and flexibility in communicating with
others; (2) knowledge-based features such as knowledge
and skills, scientific accuracy, and ability to research;
and (3) state-dependent properties such as willingness
to take responsibility and emphasizing on the attractive
external appearance. Core values set forth by AACN
(American Association of Critical-Care Nursing)(1998)
include human dignity, integrity, autonomy, altruism, and
social justice. These values have also been identified by
Horton(2007). Hall(1982, 1968, 1967) formulated five
attributes to the most mature professions such as law and
medicine, which are use of professional reference agencies,
community service, autonomy, self-regulation, and sense
of commitment and professionalism.[58-60]
In nursing professionalization, the “professional self” is one
of the most important attitudinal elements. Professional
identity is a secret knowledge that shows the continuation
of a profession. Professional attitude is a sense of
experiences that makes up a professional identity.
Professional self-concept is the result of the university
system, skills training, and professional development.
Arthur and colleagues(1998) showed that sense of being
a professional among graduate students was stronger
than among experienced nurses. Finally, we can say
professionalization is a framework for identifying a career in
a social context, which emphasizes on attitudinal dimension
of professionalization showing the importance of attitude
within a profession and its professionals.
Psychomotor dimension of nursing professionalization
Studies showed among nurses following the standards of
practice and psychomotor competences, there are those who
value professionalization. UKCC in 1992, in an article
titled “review professional action,” defined the nursing
profession by these characteristics: Professional nursing is
Ghadirian, et al.: Nursing professionalism
Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research | January-February 2014 | Vol. 19 | Issue 1 4
characterized by clinical working. This view has led to the
expansion of the nursing role, so that they allowed getting
involved in the therapeutic activities based on their personal
qualifications and are actively involved in patient care.
So, professionalization is a certain style of management
and implementation through which the professionals know
about their commitments and obligations. It is also for those
who are self-learning and self-controlled. This is consistent
with the word “knowledgeable doer” that can be found in
new dialogs in nursing.
The definition of nursing professionalization in the
clinical area is a difficult issue. Barber (1965) defined
four properties for a professional manner: High degree
of systematic and public knowledge, awareness about
the interests of society rather than the personal interests,
a high degree of self-control in behavior through moral
codes, and existence of a reward system as a sign for
success. In nursing, some scholars have defined codes of
professional behavior as: Respecting the dignity, values, and
beliefs of the patients, maintaining patients’ trust, making
informed decisions, provision of competent and safe care,
maintaining standards of activities, presenting the image of
nursing, and having a harmony with the law in action.
Lui et¬al.(2007) stated that the use of codes of professional
behavior is important, but it is difficult in clinical practice.
The main code of professional behavior in their study was
“safe and competent care.” This item is considered as the
main foundation for nursing professionalization by other
nursing associations in the West.[70,71]
From another perspective, nursing professionalization
consists of behaviors including commitment, encouragement
of the colleagues, peer assessments, and support from
collective nature of profession. Focus in this view is on
marketing and customer orientation. Mayer(1992)
emphasizes that in a modern society, the professions must
be of good quality, reasonable, and affordable. He indicates
that we can be sure about a professional service when the
presented service is market-oriented. Thus, creating an
environment where the focus is on value and satisfaction
of the customer is important.
Antecedents of nursing professionalization
The next rotational cycle in the developmental processes
of evolutionary concept analysis is determining the
antecedents and consequences of the concept. Identifying
the antecedents and consequences is an important
part of the analysis because it provides greater clarity
about the concept of interest. Antecedents are the
events that happened before the concept occurrence
and consequences can occur as a result of them.
Professionalization is actually a continuum that occurs
during the professional socialization process. Antecedents
of nursing professionalization are identified and classified
in the following five groups: Demographic factors, factors
related to the experience, training-related factors, factors
related to the position, and value factors.
Age is one of the effective factors on nursing
professionalization, identified in the studies. Studies have
also shown that ethnic differences can have an impact on
professional values. Gender differences are also the other
factors known to influence the professional values. [76,77]
Factors related to the experience
Length of service, years of experience,[15,75,78] previous
experiences, and nursing professional experiences in the
health care, shown in several studies, are directly related
to the nursing professionalization and professional attitude.
It can be said that maturity in professional experiences has
a large impact on professional attitude.
Factors related to the education
Degree,[22,72,79-81] membership in professional organiza
tions,[1,4,15,81,82] having specialized certification,[1,15,78,81]
the place where the last degree was issued, political
awareness, educational readiness, training and
socialization, teachers of nursing,[84,85] and length of
the course,[1,86] all have been shown to have a significant
relationship with professionalization in academic studies.
Factors related to the position
Position of nurse practitioners,[58,79] type of organization,[87-89]
organizational culture,[69,90,91] the appearance of nurses
in the workplace,[92-96] caregiver employment status,
work place, existence of a reward system,[81,97] lack
of staffs, increasing the number of patients, the
existence of standards of activity, lack of time, having
stress and fatigue, patients, clinicians, managers, and
co-workers,[84,85] the gap between education and clinical
practice, and expectations of health care organizations,
all have been mentioned as precursors to professionalization
in the reviewed studies.
Professional satisfaction and organizational commitment,
professional freedom and independence and motivational
factors, belonging, knowing, and acknowledging,
support and guidance, acceptance, willingness,
responsibility, and trust,[101-103] altruism,[104-108] and
professional identity have shown a significant relationship
with professionalization. Studies showed belonging to a
team, answering the questions of the patients and their
families, and valuing the work do affect the understanding
and meaning of students from professionalization.[22,93]
Ghadirian, et al.: Nursing professionalism
5 Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research | January-February 2014 | Vol. 19 | Issue 1
In general, although several internal and external factors are
associated with the level of professionalization in nursing,
for becoming a true professional, the experience of working
and an educational background are very effective factors.
Consequences of nursing professionalization
Consequences of nursing professionalization consist of two
components: Compatible and incompatible. Enhancement
of patient care quality and improvement of the outcomes
of care,[3,109-111] satisfaction of staffs, customers, clients,
and agencies,[83,91,111,112] enhancement of the professional
authority and the power to make decisions, development
of training programs to improve educational efficiency,
reduction of accidents and mistakes and risk management,
non-occurrence of burnout, creating employment
standards, socialization, professional development,
self-concept development, business retention,[101-103] and
increased recognition of patients are the compatible
consequences that have been discussed in several studies.
Although professionalization can be very positive for
professional practice, it can create blind spots in organization
and stop vital information flow in uncertain conditions. This
is because professional groups form their own subculture,
especially in their language and communication habits.
Therefore, they tend to be separated, even if they are working
with other groups in an organization. On the other hand,
as the professional members of the profession must accept
responsibility, self-regulation, and control of the market
for their services, the foundation of professionalization is
based on the competition over resources and power that
are divided between the characters and organizations.
Surrogate and related concepts
The term “surrogate” is used for the concepts that express
the same meaning of the desired concepts. In other
words, the term explains the meaning of a concept.
Related terms are used to express concepts that are related
to the desired concept but do not have necessarily similar
characteristics. Application of related concepts in concept
analysis is based on the idea that each concept is a part
of a network of concepts. Identifying the related concepts
helps us to locate “nursing professionalization” concept in
basic knowledge of nursing. During the analysis process,
it became clear that the concept of professionalism can be
replaced with the words “profession” and “professional.”
Profession and Professor from Latin etymology have the
same root(Profess). The meaning of their root is claimed
or confessed. From lexical aspect, profession is a vocation
required to higher education and intellectual skills. Many
authors have searched for the profession and its indicators.
Aydellotle(1990) defined a profession as an organized and
sophisticated job through which the clinicians obtain their
exclusive knowledge in a protracted course for providing
an exclusive, essential, or favorite service. He indicates
that the essential features of a profession include having
extensive and systematic knowledge, focusing on society
interests, controlling the behavior through codes of ethics,
having relationships with other professions, and existence
of a professional reward system. Extensive review of
studies suggests that the profession is characterized by
a series of factors: (1) the body of knowledge acquired
through formal education, (2) a high level of competency,
(3) inclusion criteria, (4) professional certification process,
and (5) a set of behavioral and attitudinal norms, known
Overall, a profession is characterized by the use of
standardized knowledge that has three components:
(1) an action taken based on underlying basic knowledge
or discipline, (2) practical knowledge to solve everyday’s
problems, and (3) the knowledge based on skills and
attitudes to serve to the clients. The articles defining the
characteristics of the nursing profession list them as: Strong
commitment, long-term and regular education, special
body of knowledge and skills, ethics, autonomy, power
for standard service, valuing and existence of professional
The word “professional” in Aryanpur dictionary means
related to a profession or an occupation, or being seasoned,
skilled, and experienced. Dictionary of thesaurus lists the
synonyms for the word “professional” as: Qualified, trained,
skilled, white-collar professional people like doctors and
engineers, expert, experienced, finished, skilled, masterly,
efficient, etc. Being a professional or being a professor
means being a person claiming to have expertise in a specific
skill or knowledge. Flexner says professionals are the
people who have to adapt to a particular job and have basic
and higher education, high intellectual level in performance,
sense of responsibility, scientific knowledge based on
expertise, interest to develop learning, self-direction,
and philanthropy. Qualified members of a profession
have ethical codes and a professional organization as a
guide. Sacrifice, altruism, accountability, self-regulation,
self-determination, and independence are features of the
professional values.[7,124] Jarvis defines a professional as a
person who is constantly in search of mastery in a branch
of learning that is the foundation of his/her career, so as to
be able to provide services to his/her clients. Freidson,
Cho, and Han expressed some professional qualities such
as political autonomy, clinical autonomy, professional
excellence and dominance, professional autonomy, clinical
thinking, self-regulation and professional ethics.[125-127] In
nursing articles, the word “professional” is implied to trained
clinicians. In fact, professional employees are different.
Their activities are associated with their attitudes and social
Ghadirian, et al.: Nursing professionalism
Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research | January-February 2014 | Vol. 19 | Issue 1 6
behaviors.[117,128,129] These behaviors and attitudes include
a high level of expertise, the freedom to manage work,
commitment, knowledge, and a system of peer evaluation
for maintaining the ethical standards. From a marketing
perspective, we can say that being a professional means
to be obliged to do something that is appropriate for the
patient and to accept the responsibility to provide services
regardless to one’s own interest.[58,116]
An appropriate exemplar of the concept
One of the six activities presented in Rodgers’ approach
is identifying an exemplar of the concept, if appropriate.
Rogers states that providing an example is essential to
clarify a practical implementation of the concept related to
the context. Examples can be expressed by qualitative
studies or specific situations. Despite the strong need felt
to provide such an example to clarify the concept further,
the complex nature of the concept and features like its
multi-dimensionality made it impossible to present a real
example. This can be considered as a study limitation.
Interpretation and implications of the concept
The aim of the present study was to assess nursing
professionalization in relevant literatures to identify
attributes, antecedents, and consequences of the concept.
The results showed that nursing professionalization has
cognitive, attitudinal, and psychomotor dimensions.
Antecedents of nursing professionalization included
demographic factors, factors related to education, factors
related to experience, factors related to the position, and
value factors. Consequences of nursing professionalization
included two components of compatible and incompatible
mechanisms. Results of the analysis are important because
although a lot of literature is available about the nursing
professionalization, there is little integration and inference
about the concept.
Clinical implications: Professionalization and
As a special knowledge, professionalization has a
skill-oriented and experiential nature. So, focusing on
the clinical factors that influence professionalization and
providing the perfect context for professional growth and
development in clinical practice seems to be one of the
essential elements. One of the most important factors in the
professionalization was experience, which was confirmed
by several studies. Benner in 1984 proposed beginner–
expert continuum as a framework for clinical nursing
specialty. He suggests five levels at the continuum:
Beginner, advanced, competent, proficient, and expert.
Different functional levels represent progressive stages of
acquired skills and experience. Beginner–specialist’s theory
implies that through evolutionary experience, nurses are
moving from one side to the other side of the continuum,
but all nurses do not reach the level of expertise. Several
studies have tried to explain the difference between a
nurse specialist and beginner.[133,134] One of the most
important factors discussed in this difference was years of
experience. But this division based on years of experience
is not a valid classification.[135,136] Benner et¬al., stated that
experience singly does not guarantee specialty. They belived
that evolutionary experience is associated with expertise,
sufficient and especial experiences.
Implications for research: Professional autonomy
path to the professional power
The results of the analysis suggest a variety of researches in
future. Although professionalization is not a new concept in
nursing, however, studies on this issue seem to have failed to
provide a significant step toward a comprehensive solution
to achieve it. Therefore, recognition of strategies to achieve
professionalization as a major phenomenon among health
care providers is essential. The result of the present study
suggests professional power and autonomy as a way to
achieve nursing professionalization and further researches
are considered necessary.
Hall (1982) introduced professional power as the focus on
professionalization. He(1968) found that the main features
of the professionalization are community service and sense
of duty. Meanwhile today, autonomy and membership
in professional organizations are most important for
nurses.[58,59] He explains the membership in professional
organizations as the central reference for self-regulation and
professional autonomy at the heart of professionalization.
Thereby, it enhances the professional power. One of the
main features of nursing professionalization is autonomy.
Forsyth and Donisiewics stated that the professions are
important, unique, and complex; therefore, professionals
should have power to make their own decisions free from
external pressures. Bul(1998) stated that one of the main
purposes and attractions to move toward professionalization
is development of professional autonomy. Autonomy
is an important component of professionalization that is
effective on personal decision making to achieve the goals
and the control on job situations. Autonomy not only
acts as a buffer against stress but also acts as a mean to
empower and strengthen the sense of the personality and
Studies have shown that the most important way to
achieve a professional power is autonomy, acquired
through membership in professional organizations. Hall
states that nurses should strongly support the professional
organizations because by connecting to professional
Ghadirian, et al.: Nursing professionalism
7 Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research | January-February 2014 | Vol. 19 | Issue 1
organizations, they have a more professional feeling and
the organizations grow more to support their members.[58,59]
If the nurses do not reach to social maturity as a body, it
may influence their attitude and the way they are perceived
by others. Also, it can act as a confounding factor to reduce
the development of nursing as a profession.
This concept analysis is based on an evolutionary approach
developed by Rogers. The concept of professionalization
is associated with nursing knowledge. This approach
with the presentation of a theoretical definition of nursing
professionalization is used as a basic starter. This concept
analysis is limited based on time and context; therefore, a
continuous effort to develop a conceptual framework for the
present and future of nursing professionalization is required.
Due to the complex nature of the professionalization,
various definitions in the literature and the other sciences,
especially nursing, are common and expected. According
to philosophical foundation of analysis, the result of
analysis is not only to reach to what the concept is as a
conclusion, but also the basis for further development of
the concept. The results of the present analysis can be
presented in the definition for the professionalization, as
nursing professionalization is a cyclical process, which
includes mastery of knowledge, skilful action, and having
professional ideology, measured by the top standards. It
can promote when excellence is considered as a major
criterion for judging actions and attitudes of professionals.
This definition of nursing professionalization not only opens
further exploration but also provides the opportunity for
further research in order to develop the concept and its
application in the field of theory, and research in the fields of
education, management, and clinical nursing. On the other
hand, acceptance of the above definition is not considered,
as acceptance of a unique definition is considered as
ignoring other informal factors and variable conditions,
which may be a supplement, opposite, or associated with
Professionalization, depending on times, contexts, and
disciplines, has variable protests. Literature analysis of
nursing professionalization led us to a variety of different
meanings. The results of the present study describe
the nursing professionalization as a multi-dimensional
concept and it introduced cognitive, attitudinal, and
psychomotor dimensions as the main features of nursing
professionalization. In the review of studies, antecedents
of the concept were demographic factors, factors related
to experience, factors related to education, factors related
to situation, and value-related factors. Consequences
of professionalization in nursing are described by two
components of compatible and incompatible. Therefore,
nursing professionalization is not always associated
with a favorable outcome. Hence, understanding of the
professionalization characteristics, antecedents, and its
consequences can lead to higher promotion of the status
and the importance and application of this concept in the
nursing profession. Use of assessment tools to evaluate
and investigate this concept can result in further research
and extension of the body of knowledge in this profession.
Finally, it can be concluded that nursing professionalism
has a complex nature with multi dimensions. This feature
requires theorizing in this area. For this purpose, concept
analysis considered the first step.
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How to site: Ghadirian F, Salsali M, Cheraghi MA. Nursing
professionalism: An evolutionary concept analysis. Iranian Journal
of Nursing and Midwifery Research 2014;19:1-10.
Source of Support: This article didn’t support by any institution,
Conﬂ ict of Interest: Nil.