Define Professionalism in Nursing

Professionalism in nursing requires a positive attitude.
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Back in the old days, nurses were nothing but professional in their starched white caps and uniforms, and their just-as-white shoes. Nurses today convey their professionalism with an attitude that combines confidence, friendliness and competence into one mission -- meeting patient needs and helping doctors perform their duties. Professionalism in nursing means you're ready to effectively address a crisis at any moment of your work day.

Mental Outlook

    Professionalism in nursing requires a positive mental outlook by dedicated workers who strive to meet patient concerns and help them deal with serious, sometimes life-threatening medical conditions. An ideal nurse shows empathy and the willingness to help people through difficult times. A word of encouragement, a loving smile, gentleness and a helping hand go a long way. According to the website "Nurse Together," Florence Nightingale was the perfect example of a strong nurse -- an inventor, a visionary and a missionary who delivered services with passion and love. A professional nurse performs her duties with excellence and kindness, realizing that her attitude affects those around her.


    Punctuality is important in all workplaces, but especially in those that employ nurses. Shift changes and rotations must occur like clockwork to ensure that there are no gaps in patient care. Patient consultations, lab tests, surgeries, patient followup calls, medicine disbursement, medical treatments and administrative tasks run on a tight schedule at most hospitals and clinics. Without punctuality, patient needs go unmet and doctors can't perform their responsibilities in a timely and effective manner.

Career Development

    To maintain professionalism in nursing, participate in nursing organizations, read medical journals, update your nursing credentials and attend nursing conferences to stay current, according to the National Student Nurses Association. Career development helps you stay up to date on technological advances, medications and procedures, which in turn serves your patients well. You don't want to continue doing things the old way, when safer, faster and more reliable methods are available.


    A clean, tidy appearance shows your professionalism in the nursing industry. Clean scrubs free of stains, well-groomed hair and nails, and clean skin meet most professional nursing standards. Hospitals and clinics strive to maintain a clean, antiseptic environment so germs aren't easily spread. A well-maintained appearance supports the healthy standards encouraged by most medical facilities.

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