Socialization in Nursing

It is defined on businessdictionary. com that socialization occurs through a combination of both self-imposed and externally imposed rules and expectations of others which is how individuals learn rules and expectations of knowledge, language and social skills. In layman terms, this means that nurses learn from one another as well as what they see and hear other nurses do and say.

Through socialization options such as exposure to educational resources, peers and personal experiences, my attitude towards nursing changed due to working with real nurses that taught me that not everyone is cut out to be a nurse and some people are not meant to be nurses at all. This is judged by peers and nurses as deemed as being accepted or not accepted. Failure to be accepted into the nursing profession can make or break a nursing career. My socialization in the nursing world began when I became a student in the nursing program.

This is where my attitude towards the nursing profession and my expectation of nurses began to change. As a child, my perception was that being a nurse was easy and that anyone could be a nurse if they wanted to be. I found out that being a nurse involves more than the technical aspect of skills; it involves intrapersonal communication with patients, families and co-workers. Peer evaluation, educational resources and knowledge sharing through other departments contribute much valuable learning as a new nurse but throughout one’s nursing profession, hands-on experience is a necessity.

Having a mentor to guide and direct a new nurse in the right direction is an instrumental part of the learning process (Thrysoe 2011). My mentor was Ellen Williams. She taught me that “learning the ropes” was a day-to-day process that involved seeing and doing in order to develop sensitivity to the power structure and rules of behavior essential as a nurse. To gain the necessary knowledge needed to do the job correctly, knowledge must be shared by others already experienced in the field to enhance the learning process.

Socialization into the profession of nursing is ongoing and never ending. Learning to be a nurse doesn’t happen overnight; one must grow into the profession one day at a time. Even with a mentor to guide the new nurse’s growth in the field, acceptance may or may not happen. This is up to the new nurse and depends on their attitude and the attitude of those they are working with. Attitudes and past experiences affect nurses in a positive and negative way.

If an initial negative attitude is displayed by a new nurse in her work setting towards co-workers, it is an immediate deterrent to fellow co-workers and shows a lack of teamwork. Negative feelings from co-workers sets the stage for how a new nurse will be treated in her new work environment. The display of positive values, attitudes and behaviors influence other nurse’s thoughts, actions and performances and make for a better work environment for everyone. Acceptance into a group eases socialization in to the nursing profession by offering an acceptance into a select group of professionals.

Despite the positive nurses striving to be our best and treat new nurses with kindness and respect, there are still nurses in the workforce who inflict ill treatment to new nurses making their transition into the nursing profession more difficult than it already is. The actions of others that cause stress during the professional socialization process in a negative way are actions that can usually be avoided. Stressful situations in my recollection include situations or poor staffing and too heavy workloads. An assignment of too many complex patients being assigned to one nurse can cause the nurse to be unnecessary stress during a shift.

I have personally been assigned up to twelve patients on an overnight shift; making it difficult to provide the quality of care that they deserved. It is my belief that nursing assignments should be staffed according to acuity of patients rather than geographical location on the unit. In order to meet the needs of patients, adequate staffing does not always fall into the guidelines of the staffing matrix. When dealing with patient’s lives, the ideal situation is a rarity and should be dealt with on an individual basis to meet the patient’s individual needs.

Horror stories of new nurses entering the workforce and being scheduled with short staffing and long work hours inhibit future new nurses from entering the workforce. In Glick’s own words, “The purpose and meaning of nursing as a profession have been defined by society. ” Society expects a profession to uphold the standards of practice within the scope of practice specified. The various entry levels of nursing education are influenced in the professional status of nursing, the socialization process, and re-socialization.

Entering the nursing world as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is limited in skill set and may be looked down upon by other nurses. Depending on the setting, LPN’s may be the higher authority in charge or the lower authority under Registered Nurses (RNs) and baccalaureate degree nurses (BSNs). Working as a LPN in long term care, I was subjected to cruel treatment from other nurses due to my limited educational background. Earning a RN degree was the great beginning in my long journey to obtain my masters degree in nursing.

With an increased complexity in patient needs, there is a calling for more educated nurses. It has been proven that nurses with a higher education are given more opportunity to advancement positions up the corporate ladder in the workforce (Melrose 2012). According to Haase (2003) “The American Nurses Association (ANA) has pushed towards BSNs as entry level nursing since 1965” (as cited in Orsolini-Hain, n. d. ) in preparation to expand the role of the nurse, accelerate the health care delivery and put more emphasis on community centered care to better meet the growing needs of our communities.

It is up to all nursing professionals to accept and encourage out comrades to further their education in order to improve the nursing profession and offer a setting of health for our communities to grow in. Professionally, I have witnessed discriminatory acts towards lower entry level nurses in ways such as unfair staffing and patient loads. They were given cognitively impaired patients that required more work than other patients because the nurse in charge did not feel the LPN’s nursing ability was as educated as the RN.

I have heard numerous LPNs referred to themselves as “Just a LPN” and I am the first to reply that they are not “Just a LPN”; I explain that they are a nurse too. The value of nurses has diminished over time due to the lack of professionalism displayed by the nursing profession in today’s workplace. It is important to change the public perception of the nursing profession back to one of prestige and high standing in our communities. The public image of nursing is not as highly respected as it used to be. Laypersons see nursing as people wearing their pajamas and making too much money for the kind of work that is being done.

There is supporting data regarding the impact of appearance on the perceived professionalism of nursing showing that traits of nurse professionalism were highest in white uniforms which most hospitals have gone away with. Having worked in long term care for twelve years as a LPN of utmost professionalism, I was treated poorly by a co-worker who happened to have her RN. There was a evident lack of shared respect between the two of us. She repeatedly referred to me as “Just a LPN. ” Despite multiple attempts to discuss her treatment towards me, she continued to downgrade me in front of other workers and residents of the facility.

After a length of time, I sat down with her one evening when all the residents were settled in for the night, asked her to take off her nametag and place it on the desk. Doing the same thing with my nametag, I stated to the RN, “Now we are both just nurses. I would appreciate you to treat me as such. ” Following that evening, I never had another problem with her treating me as a lesser person. The Occupational Outlook Handbook published by the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, states that nursing is the largest healthcare profession with 2.

5 million jobs and is projected to generate 587,000 more jobs between 2006-2016. In conclusion, in order to nurture and accommodate the increasing number of nurses joining the nursing profession, it is important that all nurses currently working offer a welcoming and learning environment for others. Despite the stresses that all nurses encounter on a daily basis, support and mentoring of new nurses are essential to their metamorphosis into experienced nurses (Young 2008) . According to Walsh, “New graduate nurses place importance on feelings of comfort and belonging within their work environments.

” Positive socialization allows the nursing profession to have more positive nurses working in a positive environment which results in positive patient satisfaction of care. References Retrieved from http://www. businessdictionary. com/definition/socialization. html DOL Occupational Outlook Handbook Looks at Fast Growing, High-Paying Careers. (2013). Report on Salary Surveys, 20(5), 15. Glick, M. (1985). Educational entry level into nursing practice. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 16(6), 185-188. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/915649343

Accountid=9720 Hathorn, D. , Machtmes, K. , & Tillman, K. (2009). The lived experience of nurses working with student nurses in the acute care clinical environment, 14(2). Retrieved from http://nova. edu/ssss/QR/QR14-2/hathorn. pdf Melrose, S. , Miller, J. , Gordon, K. , & Janzen, K. (2012). Becoming socialized into a new professional role: LPN to BN student nurses’ experiences with legitimation. Nursing Research and Practice, 2012946063. doi:10. 1155/2012/946063 Thrysoe, L. , Hounsgaard, L. , Dohn, N. , ; Wagner, L. (2011). Expectations of becoming a nurse and experiences on being a nurse.

Nordic Journal Of Nursing Research ; Clinical Studies, 31(3), 15-19. Walsh, M. K. (2009). Socialization of the new graduate nurse: Do internship programs affect the process? (Order No. 3373685, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, , 63-n/a. Retrieved from http://search. proquest. com/docview/304993936? accountid=9720. (304993936). Young, M. , Stuenkel, D. , ; Bawel-Brinkley, K. (2008). Strategies for easing the role transformation of graduate nurses. Journal for Nurses in Staff Development, 24(3), 105-112.