Definition of Nursing

Nurses have been described as “lacking professional commitment and motivation, low in risk taking and change-making, having a ‘blue-collar mentality,’ being cautious and conservative, and suffering from lack of cohesiveness and collegiality” (Cohen, 1981; Eisenstein, 1982; Hughs, 1982; Hull, 1982; Kalisch & Kalisch, 1977; Kerr, 1982; Lowery-Palmer, 1982; Muff, 1982; Weiss & Remen, 1983 as cited in Chandler, 1986, p.1). With this definition of what a nurse has been professed as, there is a fundamental responsibility to redefine and understand the purpose and characterization of today’s nurse. Without a true clarity, respect and cohesiveness of peers and community cannot be stipulated. Gastmans (1998) states, “For nurses (both as individuals and as a professional group) it should be considered an ethical challenge to change the context of nursing practice from a stumbling block into a driving force” (p. 244). Creating a new identity ensures professional recognition and the appreciation of nursing competence and commitment to the patient’s well being (Gastmans, 1998).

Description of Terms


Health can be described as the absence of physical disease or pain. The etymology of the word ‘health’ also references prosperity, happiness, welfare, protection, and safety. True health is therefor holistic, including more than the freedom from disease or pain. Health is having a personal contentment, peace of mind and the ability to protect one’s own welfare.


The word environment can have multiple inferences and yet all contexts describe a place where an individual lives or functions; a safe place. In the nursing realm, an environment that promotes healing and wellbeing is essential for a patient to feel safe. It ...

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... Nurses' satisfaction with their work environment and the outcomes of clinical nursing supervision on nurses' experiences of well-being - a Norwegian study. Journal of Nursing Management, 13(3), 221-230. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2004.00527.x

Chandler, G. E. (1986). The relationship of nursing work environment to empowerment and powerlessness (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from,63987.

Cohen, H. (1981). The nurse’s quest for professional identity. Menlo Park, CA: Addison-Wesley.

Gastmans, C. (1998). Challenges to nursing values in a changing nursing environment. Nursing Ethics, 5(3), 236-245. doi: 10.1177/096973309800500307

Regis University Mission Statement. (n.d.) In Loreto Heights School of Nursing student handbook. Retrieved from
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