Nursing as a Profession:
The authority for the practice of nursing is based upon a social contract that delineates professional rights and responsibilities as well as mechanisms for public accountability. In almost all countries, nursing practice is defined and governed by law, and entrance to the profession is regulated at the national or state level. The aim of the nursing community worldwide is for its professionals to ensure quality care for all, while maintaining their credentials, code of ethics, standards, and competencies, and continuing their education. There are a number of educational paths to becoming a professional nurse, which vary greatly worldwide; all involve extensive study of nursing theory and practice as well as training in clinical skills. Nurses care for individuals of all ages and cultural backgrounds who are healthy and ill in a holistic manner based on the individual's physical, emotional, psychological, intellectual, social, and spiritual needs. The profession combines physical science, social science, nursing theory, and technology in caring for those individuals.
In order to work in the nursing profession, all nurses hold one or more credentials depending on their scope of practice and education. A Licensed practical nurse (LPN) (also referred to as a Licensed vocational nurse, Registered practical nurse, Enrolled nurse, and State enrolled nurse) works independently or with a Registered Nurse. The most significant differentiation between an LPN and RN is found in the requirements for entry to practice, which determines entitlement for their scope of practice. A Registered Nurse (RN) provides scientific, psychological, and technological knowledge in the care of patients and families in many health care settings. Registered Nurses may earn additional credentials or degrees. In the USA, multiple educational paths will qualify a candidate to sit for the licensure examination as a registered nurse. RN's may also pursue different roles as advanced practice registered nurses.
Nurses may follow their personal and professional interests by working with any group of people, in any setting, at any time. Some nurses follow the traditional role of working in a hospital setting. Around the world, nurses have been traditionally female but in the present era of development 20% nurses are male.