The nursing profession first became known as early as the 18th century, the era of Florence Nightingale. Today, careers that are typically monopolized by women have undergone significant changes with the increasing number of men venturing into this field. The increase in academic level has also progressed up to the level of doctor of nursing philosophy. Nurses who are equipped with a variety of knowledge including research knowledge and information technology are able to plan and manage quality patient care. However, the nursing career is still lacking and its importance in society is almost insignificant.
The Covid-19 pandemic has proven the importance of the nursing profession in the national health sector. The perseverance of nurses in carrying out their duties at the forefront, willingness to face all possibilities and dangers in order to save the lives of Covid-19 patients and the country from the threat of this dangerous epidemic can to some extent add value to society's perception of the nursing profession. The contribution of nurses in fighting the pandemic in the country is one of the proofs that this profession is recognized to be very important. Every nurse has used her nursing expertise and skills as an advocate in protecting and improving the health of the patients under their care as well as the general public during this outbreak. Nurses remain professional in carrying out their duties and responsibilities sincerely and wholeheartedly in planning and implementing patient care. These educated and skilled nurses with cognitive, spiritual and emotional intelligence always view the task from a positive angle resulting in effective care in the patient’s healing process.
Nurses need to constantly strengthen their role so that society can assess the importance of this profession in healthcare. The perception of nurses in Malaysia can be further improved if all nurses can complete their knowledge and skills by continuing their studies to the next doctoral degree level. Higher learning accompanied by an attitude of lifelong learning can enhance thinking in quality patient care planning. Highly educated nurses can also engage with nursing research locally and abroad. Research activities are very important so that problems in nursing care can be identified and appropriate action taken to address them. Apart from research, each nurse also needs to prepare a publication paper so that the results of their research can be disseminated and subsequently applied to further improve the quality of patient care. Apart from that, the publication is also very important in nursing because it can be used as a guide to nurses from other countries to apply the results of the publication in their own country. Previously published nursing studies have identified that patient morbidity and mortality rates could be reduced if more graduate nurses provided care to patients in health facilities. Knowledgeable and competent nurses are able to lead and collaborate with other professions.
As civil servants in the field of health, nurses not only become role models but need to demonstrate adherence to policies everywhere not just “to be shown” because someone is watching their actions. When a nurse always maintains the way they work properly they will always carry a positive attitude wherever they are, thus this will be able to maintain the credibility of the nurse in the eyes of society.
Every nurse needs to prioritize development in the nursing profession over self -interest. Ideally each nurse can demonstrate the ability to share ideas and suggestions for continuous improvement in the profession. They should always be prepared to work in groups and accept reasonable evidence-based recommendations in health management as well as patient care especially in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic problem in the country which is getting worse.
In conclusion, the excellence of the nursing profession can be enhanced if every nurse understands the needs of this profession. Every nurse is advised to always apply and practice the noble values in daily practice with a productive attitude so that the profession will continue to grow in line with the achievements of education and research. So far, the community's perception of the nursing profession in Malaysia can be considered selective and according to the current situation. The importance of this profession will be more pronounced and appreciated if this profession can go through the comprehensive transformation in a clear direction. This is closely related to the ability of dynamic nursing leadership (thinking openly, progressively and competitively). Nursing higher education is able to contribute in shaping nurses with dynamic leadership criteria.
Prepared by :
Professor Dr Soh Kim Lam, Head of the Department of Nursing
Rosna binti Abdul Raman, Lecturer, Department of Nursing
Paramesevary A/P L.Subramaniam, Lecturer, Department of Nursing
Date of Input: 08/06/2021 | Updated: 10/06/2021 | mukhriz
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