Professional Role Socialization Paper
Defining professional association in nursing is not a straight line. It requires guidance through the definition of the term socialization, and an understanding of a profession and what the profession entails. According to Melrose et al (2012), socialization is the process through which an individual acquires a personal identity through the learning of conduct, ethics, customs, as well as social skills suitable for their social position. The conducts and attitudes learned, Lai and Lim (2012) acknowledge, help in the inculcation of an individual into a group and the society. Lai and Lim (2012) indicate that professional socialization has been define by many an author. In their definition of professional socialization, Melrose et al (2012) state that professional association is a “process by which persons acquire the knowledge, skills and disposition that makes them more or less effective members (of a profession) … and a subconscious process whereby persons internalize behavioral norms and standards and form a sense of identify and commitment to a professional field.” The process goes further into forming an individual’s professional identity, in which the layperson begins viewing him/herself as a member of a profession, bearing the knowledge and responsibilities attending membership to the profession (Lai & Lim, 2012; Carlson et al, 2010).
To become members of a profession (professional) each layperson undergoes transformation through the socialization process. In its basic form, professional socialization is a process hinged on role theory with roots in sociology (Lai & Lim, 2012). The theory, according to Lai and Lim (2012), insists on preparation of student nurses for specific work expectation or role tackling as an alternative to facing societal life. The point here is that in the students’ role as nurses, their role is the expectation that comes with their position as nurses. To gain the professional criteria therefore, students undergo transformation during the professional socialization process. Accordingly, therefore, the individuals undergo two processes. “First is the process of interacting with groups and significant others, and second is to learn from role playing, identification, modeling, instruction, observation, trial and error, and role negotiation” (Lai & Lim, 2012, p. 32). Claywell on the other hand, looks at socialization within two parameters: formal and informal socialization. Claywell (2009) opines that formal socialization “involves planned educational experiences, such as performing physical assessment, developing nursing diagnoses for a patient’s care plan, and doing patient teaching” (p. 57). For informal socialization, Claywell (2009) indicates that it includes incidental lessons learned in the course of an individual’s life as a student.
As a process, professional socialization takes an individual through four stages in the individual’s bid to become a registered nurse. These four stages help in the transition of a nurse from a licensed practical nurse to a registered nurse (Claywell, 2009). The first stage is the registration and entry into the LPN to RN program. This stage can also begin with the though/consideration of application for joining the program (Claywell, 2009). The stage is particularly rife with mixed feelings and emotions including excitement and skepticism. The excitement emanates from the challenge of new learning things, while the skepticism stems from the doubts of whether there is anything new to learn, considering that some of the students who register for the completion program are seasoned nurses with many years’ worth of experience (Claywell, 2009).
Stage two involves more emotional dissonance especially since students start doubting their abilities as nurses, considering the introduction of new material, as well as the non-achievement of as similar grade as they had in their practical nursing program (Claywell, 2009). Feelings of frustration and anxiety become common among these students at this stage given that the care they offer to patients is largely from the LPN level, while it is required at the RN level that they give more in depth analysis of laboratory findings as well as give the similar level of thoroughness to disease analysis. Many students at this stage will therefore have self-doubt and insecurity (Claywell, 2009).
Stage three involves the transformation in though from the practical nurse to a registered nurse. The behavior of the student at this stage is also expected to change, taking the form of the new role that the student will play after the completion of the program. With the acceptance of a new way of doing things and a willingness of learning new skills and knowledge, students at this stage then begin to relish learning new information. Emotional stability is achieved with student getting less frustrated with their capability to achieve new goals in the program (Claywell, 2009).
The final stage (stage four) involves the complete adoption of behavior and attitude associated with registered nurses. Although the student will act and practices some of the modes of thinking and conduct learned as a practical nurse, more of the registered nurses’ features will be inculcated in the student’s daily nursing routines. A consensus among students at this stage is the feeling that all nurses should indeed be registered nurses given the pleasure derived from the advanced level of nursing knowledge, with a feeling of more confidence in the provision of patients’ comprehensive care (Claywell, 2009).
Stage four is the current level I am experiencing given that from readings and knowledge acquired from my stay in the college, I feel that it is really important for other nurses (practical)to become registered nurse. The wealth of knowledge availed through the program does not only allow me to provide better care, but also assists me in becoming a better professional than it would have been possible without this teaching. Even with such feelings however, numerous barriers remain for the completion of the fourth stage.
Among these barriers are frustration and trauma for the whole transformation process as well as hierarchical attitudes developed at this stage. Given the vigor and the now, almost obsoleteness of knowledge learned as a practical nurse, most nurses therefore feel frustrated from the transition from a LPN to RN (Mooney, 2009). This frustration stems from the fact that new things have to be learned which relegate the old into obsoleteness. Additionally, the insistence on hierarchy at this stage can also be a barrier to the successful completion of the fourth stage. Thus, with the attitude of old habits die hard, most nurses feel more frustrated with the new knowledge and hierarchies set by the program.
Greater inculcation and initiation into the program may help in the reduction of the frustration. Particularly, the new knowledge should use resources and information from the previous teachings in LPN as a bridge to the new knowledge required for the completion of the program. It is also important that the need for hierarchy is given to the students to help them understand the reason behind the hierarchy. However, it is also necessary to provide room for critical thinking and problem-solving methods instead of insistence on following hierarchy (Mooney, 2009).
Even with these barriers to successfully completing stage four of the RN program, there remains a big difference between LPN and RN role. With advancement in learning, knowledge and skill, RN end up with more practical skills, knowledge and attitude for the provision of care than their LPN counterparts. Claywell (2009) gives a long list of the difference between LPNs and RNs. These differences help set apart the two in their practice and skills. The differences enumerated by Claywell include education level, thinking skills and legal responsibilities (Claywell, 2009).
Claywell (2009) highlights the difference in education between traditional practical nursing training and registered nursing education. The difference is specific on the mode of training. Thus, “practical nursing programs focus on teaching the ‘‘how to’’ of patient care, while the emphasis in registered nursing education is on understanding ‘‘why’’” (Claywell, 2009, p. 51). Therefore, registered nurses get a more in depth training and patient oriented training than do practical nurses. The education received by registered nurses, coupled with practical training and preceptor involvement “help students to uncover tacit knowledge embedded in clinical practice, and support the students’ professional development” (Carlson et al, 2010).
The comprehensive nature of RN training transcends mere nursing training to include science, liberal arts and clinical hours. The involvement of college-level science education is especially important for students under the RN program. According to Claywell (2009), these science courses “lay the groundwork for an understanding of psychosocial and physiological aspects of patient care” (p. 52). Graduate RN therefore have knowledge on care of patients, with an understanding of the psychological and psychosocial aspects of the patients. Liberal arts provided within the RN training also assists nurses in learning communication skills that enable them to effectively communicate with the patients, and consequently provide better and holistic care.
The general nursing training and courses given to both LPN and RN provides a window through which nurses understand the intricate nature of disease processes and patient care. Therefore, while both of them gain this knowledge, RN courses are more in depth than those undertaken by LPN (Claywell, 2009). Additionally, RN training involves more clinical hours under an instructor’s guidance. This offers an opportunity for gaining practical knowledge and experience for patient care with the more hours, than it is customary of the routine hours undertaken by LPN students.
Most of nursing training involves learning of routines, following of rules and the learning of ritual nursing practices according to hierarchical order (Mooney, 2009). While this is largely the training provided under LPN education, RNs are more inclined into the use of critical thinking. In this way, RNs do not only follow routines, but also evaluate different elements in a situation and the thinking process thus ensuring high standards of thinking (Claywell, 2009). RNs are therefore trained to gather information within a situation and reach a rational conclusion based on the information gathered. Most of these nurses therefore rely on critical thinking rather than routine, for the provision of optimal care to patients.
A major difference between practical training and registered nurses training is the duration of the training. LPNs tend to have shorter training periods and therefore have little time to learn and put critical thinking into practice (Claywell, 2009,). Given the amount of time available for RNs however, they are capable of acquiring this skill and even put it in practice during the course of their training, which gives them not only knowledge, but practical lessons as well.
The training provided in both case (RN and LPN) widens or narrows the scope of regal responsibility for the two respectively. Claywell (2009) enthuses, “Even though LPN/LVNs are sometimes found in charge nurse positions in areas that utilize few RNs (such as long-term care facilities), they typically receive little preparation in management theory” (p. 55). Even more is the non-recognition by the state nurse practice of management as a duty assigned to LPNs. On the other hand, “Team leader, charge nurse, nurse manager, and nurse administrator duties are usually assigned to registered nurses, who possess the required education and experience to make the decisions inherent in such positions” (Claywell 2009). Given the authority, training, knowledge and experience, patient care responsibility sits on the registered nurse functioning as the authority in the medical setting.
Professional socialization equips an individual with the requisite skills, knowledge and attitudes in the particular field. Among the first steps to socialization is therefore the thinking and registering into a professional nursing course. This offers a leeway for the thinking and decision making on nursing and as profession. With a registration to the course, it will be necessary to reach a decision on which field within the nursing profession one wants to pursue, given the multiple points of entry available for prospective nurses (Ellis & Hartley, 2012). After making a decision on which field of nursing to pursue, undergoing training in the field to gain the requisite knowledge, attitudes, skills and experience will be necessary for the successful pursuit of the career as a professional nurse.
Claywell, L. (2009). LPN to RN Transitions 2nd ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.
Ellis, J. R & Hartley, C. L. (2012). Nursing in today’s World: Trends, Issues & Management. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lai, P., K. & Lim, P., H. (2012). Concept of professional socialization in nursing. IeJSME, 6(1):31-35
Melrose, S. et al. (2012). Becoming Socialized into a New Professional Role: LPN to BN Student Nurses’ Experience with Legitimation. Nursing Research and Practices.
Mooney, M. (2009). Professional socialization: The key to survival as a newly qualified nurse. International Journal of Nursing Practice, 13:75–80
ed States dates back to the launch of public schools. The importance and outline has grown and diminished, recurrently with political inclinations. The contemporary standards-centered environment presents specific fears and challenges to character education. Regardless of these fears, character education endures and by most procedures is growing. Lickona (2009) defines character and studies the history of character education in United States public schools, and further introduces and contrasts the major approaches. On the other hand, traditional character education, compassionate, and developing approaches can help in molding children to best live and survive in a school and societal set-up.
In the present-day world, young children are predisposed to an assortment of environmental and societal factors that exposes them to the dangers of antisocial behavior. Comprehending these factors will help teachers and parents understand the effects affecting children and their academic performance. Specific factors include poverty and poor parental nurturing. Poverty has the most noteworthy impact on children’s general comfort, academic achievement, and social conduct. Inopportunely, children suffer the utmost poverty degrees of any age group in American civilization. Children nurtured within underprivileged societal environments are at danger for challenging behavior complications since they are often living in neighborhoods, with limited constructive role models for suitable social manners (Lickona, 2009).
In conclusion, schools can make a positive impact in children’s lives despite the fact that they seem overwhelmed by all these mitigating factors. As a professor of education at the State University of New York, Lickona addresses the contentious topic of values education and its position in the present-day academic settings. In a well-coordinated presentation refining his decades of knowledge, Lickona proposes practical methodologies that have been established by many inspirations of moral education (Lickona, 2009).
Lickona, T. (2009). Educating for character: How our schools can teach respect and responsibility. New York: Bantam Books.