American Nurses Association Definition Of Nursing


Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice.

Nurses practice in many specialties with differing levels of prescription authority. Many nurses provide care within the ordering scope of physicians, and this traditional role has come to define the nursing profession to a significant degree. However, nurse practitioners are permitted by most jurisdictions to practice independently in a variety of settings.

In the United States, the nursing profession is regulated by state boards of nursing. Most states recognize two main types of nursing: practical nursing, which is also known as vocational nursing or registered nursing, and professional nursing. In addition, there are a number of other specialized types of nursing, such as certified nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) is a professional organization that represents nurses of all types and specialties. The ANA provides resources and support for nurses at all stages of their careers, from students to seasoned professionals. It also sets standards for the profession and advocates on behalf of nurses on a variety of issues.

The ANA define nursing as “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.” In other words, nursing is about much more than simply providing medical care. Nurses play a vital role in promoting health and preventing illness. They also work to help people cope with illness and injury, and to advocate on behalf of patients and their families.

Nurses are an essential part of the health care team, and they play a unique role in helping people to maintain or improve their health. If you are interested in a career in nursing, there are many different paths you can follow. Nurses can choose to work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physician offices, home health agencies, nursing homes, and public health departments.

There are also many different specialty areas within nursing, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, oncology, and critical care. No matter what path you choose, nursing is a rewarding and challenging profession that can make a difference in the lives of individuals, families, and communities.

Nurses have been labeled 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 cohesion and collegiality” (Chandler, 1986, p.1). With this definition of what a nurse is supposed to be , there is an obligation to reconsider and reevaluate the purpose and description of today’s nurse.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) put forward a new definition of nursing in 2003, which was: “Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (as cited in ANA, 2003).

This definition broadens the scope nurses have been traditionally associated with. It encompasses not only traditional nursing activities such as patient care and administration but also emphasizes nursing’s role in health promotion and disease prevention. By taking a proactive stance on health, nurses can make a significant impact on the overall health of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

The ANA’s definition of nursing also recognizes that nursing is not just a job or profession, but a calling. Nurses are advocates for their patients and work to ensure that they receive the best possible care. They also work to promote public health and prevent disease. Nursing is a complex and demanding field, but it is also rewarding and gratifying. Nurses make a difference in the lives of their patients and their families every day.

Without a genuine clarity, respect and cohesion among peers and the community cannot exist. “For nurses (both as individuals and as a professional group) it should be seen as an ethical issue to change the nursing context from a stumbling block into a driving force,” writes Gastmans (p. 244). Creating an new identity ensures professional recognition and appreciation of nursing competence and dedication to patient care (Gastmans).

The nursing profession has seen much change and growth over the years, with the American Nurses Association (ANA) being at the forefront of nursing advocacy and policy development.

The ANA’s current definition of nursing is “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (American Nurses Association, 2015).

This definition encompasses the many different roles that nurses play in healthcare today. From direct patient care to population health initiatives, nurses are working to improve the health of individuals and communities across the country.

While the nursing profession has always been focused on improving the health of others, the ANA’s definition of nursing highlights the importance of advocacy in nursing practice. Nurses are increasingly being called upon to be advocates for their patients and communities, as well as for the nursing profession itself. With the ever-changing healthcare landscape, it is more important than ever for nurses to be involved in shaping the future of healthcare.

The ANA’s definition of nursing is just one way to look at the role of nursing in society today. As the nursing profession continues to evolve, so too will the definition of nursing. It is important for nurses to stay informed about the changing healthcare landscape and the latest nursing advocacy efforts so that they can continue to provide the best possible care for their patients and communities.

The absence of bodily illness or suffering is referred to as health. The word’s meaning includes wellness, happiness, welfare, protection, and safety. True health, in other words, is holistic and encompasses more than just disease or pain freedom. Personal contentment, peace of mind, and the capacity to maintain one’s own well-being are examples of good health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This definition has been widely accepted and is used by many different organizations, including the American Nurses Association (ANA).

The ANA put forward their own nursing definition in 2015, which was updated in 2020. They define nursing as “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.”

This definition emphasizes the importance of nursing not just in the individual care of patients, but also in the promotion of health and prevention of illness in communities and populations. Nursing is therefore a vital part of public health. The ANA’s definition also recognizes that nursing is about more than just treatment; it also includes the alleviation of suffering through diagnosis and advocacy.


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