ADJUSTING TO THE ROLE OF PROFESSIONAL NURSE

The nursing student, new graduate nurse, and staff nurse roles each have role behaviors, norms, sanctions,
and status dimensions that are unique to their specific designation. When a person changes roles, the process of learning the new role is called socialization. Professional socialization is a term used to describe the social processes that occur between the time a student enters a nursing program and graduates. The professional socialization that goes on during education in a professional nursing program is designed to shape attitudes, values, self-identity, role skills, role knowledge, and role behavior (Hardy & Conway, 1988). As intense as the socialization is during the nursing program, there is still need for socialization to the nursing
role within the employment setting. During the orientation to the employment setting, the new graduate nurse must reconcile the values and expectations of the educational program with the values and expectations of the job. For example, while a student, the usual assignment may be one or two patients. This allows the student time to provide total patient care, including a bath and all treatments. The expectation is the student is learning skills and gaining in-depth knowledge of all aspects of the patient’s condition. As a nurse, the assignment may increase to six to eight patients, and the bath and treatments may be delegated to a nurse aide. It may take new nurses time to adjust to the idea that while they alone are not giving total patient care, they are responsible for all care for the patient whether they physically supply that care or delegate it to another employee. The transition from student to professional nurse employed in an organization frequently involves giving up the practice of personally providing total patient care to being sure that patient care is accomplished according to the model of care delivery that is adopted by the hospital or other organization.
by: Rebecca A Patronis Jones

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