Nursing Profession

The foundation of the professional practice of nursing exists with the aim to provide quality care for all individuals. In order to fulfill this purpose, practicing nurses should:

  • Maintain adequate credentials
  • Follow the code of ethics, standards, and competencies
  • Continue professional development and education

In most countries throughout the world, the practice of nursing is regulated by national or state law to keep the practice standards high. As such, an individual wishing to enter and continue in the profession is required to pass certain education and training requirement set by the government.

Celebrating modern #Nursing | Royal College of Nursing

Ethics, Standards, and Competencies

Nurses are responsible for the care of all individuals from every ethnicity and religious background, including both healthy and ill individuals. This is usually a holistic care approach comprising of the patients’ physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, social, and spiritual requirements. In order to provide this care, nurses use scientific theory with technological aids for the best patient outcomes.

Although the exact code of ethics differs for each country, there are four main principles that form the foundation of nursing practice, as follows:

  • Prioritize the care of individuals with respect to their dignity
  • Cooperate with other health professionals to promote the health and wellbeing of patients
  • Provide exemplary care at all times
  • Act with integrity and honesty to uphold the reputation of the profession

These principles hold the base of good professional practice and should be followed by all nurses to ensure that the care provided to patients is the most beneficial for each individual.

Professional Development and Education

In order to be recognized and practice as a nurse, an individual needs to hold adequate credentials in terms of education, training, and experience, as determined by the regulatory body in the respective country of the world.

A nurse may practice as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN). The entry requirements and scope of practice of these roles differ slightly for each country. In general, a university degree is required for an RN, whereas qualifications for an LPN can be obtained via a shorter diploma. Registered nurses provide the scientific and technical knowledge needed to make decisions in practice and also have the option to do further study to gain specialized knowledge.

It is important that a nurse continues to learn and improve their standard of practice throughout their career as a nurse. This involves continued professional development through education and experience. In many countries, it is a requirement of LPNs and RNs to complete a number of development activities each year to continue practicing as a nurse.

Female Predominance in Nursing Profession

Although there is equal opportunity for individuals of any gender to become a nurse, the profession has traditionally been, and continues to be, dominated by females. To illustrate this, the male:female ratio in the United States and Canada is approximately 1:19 and this remains relatively consistent in other regions of the world, with a few exceptions.


Further Reading

Last Updated: May 19, 2023

Yolanda Smith

Written by

Yolanda Smith

Yolanda graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmacy at the University of South Australia and has experience working in both Australia and Italy. She is passionate about how medicine, diet and lifestyle affect our health and enjoys helping people understand this. In her spare time she loves to explore the world and learn about new cultures and languages.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Smith, Yolanda. (2023, May 19). Nursing Profession. News-Medical. Retrieved on July 24, 2024 from

  • MLA

    Smith, Yolanda. "Nursing Profession". News-Medical. 24 July 2024. <>.

  • Chicago

    Smith, Yolanda. "Nursing Profession". News-Medical. (accessed July 24, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Smith, Yolanda. 2023. Nursing Profession. News-Medical, viewed 24 July 2024,


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
How to find a good, well-staffed nursing home