Free Term Paper About Professional Role Socialization

Type of paper: Term Paper

Topic: Nursing, Profession, Breastfeeding, Professionalism, Nurse, Socialization, Role, Health

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2021/01/02


Socialization is an element practiced in every sector and organization. Through socialization, people learn roles, values, and statuses necessary in participating in a social institution. In nursing, socialization is a life-long process where nurses learn the rules and norms of nursing practice (Claywell, 2009). Socialization starts in learning institutions all the way to workplaces and the entire society at large. Professional socialization in nursing is the process through which nurses internalize and develop professional identity by acquiring knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, norms, and ethical standards with the aim of fulfilling the nursing professional role (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013). Nurses are expected to follow a specific criterion during their interaction with colleagues and patients in order to establish and support professional socialization. Additionally, the nursing profession undergoes four primary stages of role transition depending on the individual nurse’s role in the industry. The following section discusses the criteria used by nursing professionals to support professional socialization.

Definition of Professional Socialization

Professional socialization in nursing is defined as the process through which nurses internalize and develop professional identity by acquiring knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, norms, and ethical standards with the aim of fulfilling the nursing professional role (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013). Professional socialization plays an important role in the working life of a nursing practitioner. The society expects specific behaviors from the nursing profession that are appropriate to the nursing practice. Nurse in all categories, Licensed Practice Nurses (LPN), Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN), or Nurse Practitioners (NPs), are supposed to follow specific scope of practice or criteria that support professional socialization. According to Claywell (2009), a professional nurse has seven primary roles that support professional socialization. These are the caregiver, teacher, researcher, advocate, change agent, counselor, and management roles (Claywell, 2009).


A professional nurse’s main role is providing care to clients/patients. In this criterion, the nurse functions as a nurturer or comforter to the patient. Irrespective of the category of nursing a person fall in, the primary goal of the nursing profession is to provide best possible health to the patient. The nurse’s roles in caregiving include patient screening, health promotion, and nursing intervention (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013). From the definition of professional socialization, the role of a nursing professional as a care provider supports the socialization through nurse’s direct contact with patients. Additionally, the nurse uses knowledge and skills gathered in class, and practical work to fulfill the professional role as required by the health care industry (Claywell, 2009).


Registered nurses are always with contact with patients and families that make them experience frequent personal joys and sorrows that take place in times of illness. Depending on the nature of the illness, patients and families rely on professional nurses for support and guidance at all times. Nurse professionals’ plays a significant role in helping patients and their families cope with difficult and stressful moments of illness, hence, act as counselors. All nurse professionals undergo thorough training on how to deal with different scenarios from patients and families may it physical, psychological, or social problem (Claywell, 2009). Every nurse understands guidelines for professional behavior taught in nursing institutions and in the field while in the practice of nursing. Relating to the nurse’s role counseling supports professional socialization in health care by ensuring clients and their families cope with stressful situations. Additionally, nursing professionals deal with patient’s psychological needs involving private and confidential issues by following professional ethics during counseling programs (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013).

Nursing professional role as a collaborator

Nurses work in collaboration with other professionals in health care with a common goal of delivering quality care services to patients. Professional socialization roles require a nurse to work with physicians, pharmacists, assistant nurses, therapists, social workers, and other staff members present in the health care facility (Claywell, 2009). Working with other departments, professional nurses participate in different programs and activities aimed at setting goals for patients to help Improve the process of health care delivery. On the other hand, collaboration supports professional socialization by working together with patients and families to plan effective measures needed to ensure everyone performs their respective duties (Ellis & Hartley, 2008). Nurses are trained to have a therapeutic relationship with patients, which give the nurse knowledge, abilities, and skills towards meeting the health needs of a patient. Through collaboration, professional nurses implement reflective practice, follow-up plan of care, and improve their relationship with patients (Claywell, 2009).
In a nutshell, the criteria of the nursing profession that support professional socialization entails adding information through education to achieve a more all-inclusive view of patient care, focusing on their core roles or responsibilities during service delivery, and finally an understanding and change in behavior that entails embracing new roles from one group to another e.g. from licensed practical nurse (LPN/LVN) to registered nurse (RN) (Claywell, 2009).

Four Stages of Role Transition

Professional nurses must undergo four primary stage of role transition before becoming registered nurses. All nurses undergo the formal socialization process that involves planned education experiences characterized by physical assessment, developing patient care plan, and conducting patient teaching programs. On the other hand, the nurse passes through the informal socialization process that involves basic lessons learned while in the practice of nursing as the student nurse. According to the four stages of role transition as explained by Claywell, my nursing experience falls under the third stage. Major transformations characterize the third stage of the nursing role transition. Firstly, the nurse starts thinking in a wider view and not just like a practical nurse. I am in the process of finalizing my attachment in order to receive the certificate as a registered nurse practitioner. Changing roles of the nursing profession needs specific patterns and behaviors especially when a nurse is expected to deal with serious health problems.
On the other hand, the nurse has the duty of accepting new roles while entering the third stage of role transition. I always find myself enjoying new learning experience whenever I visit different departments within the health care facility. According to Claywell (2009), students in the third stage of role transition start accepting new roles as registered nurses and learn new information. Additionally, I find myself used to the clinical setting and easily socialize with colleagues and patients at all levels. In the first stage, student nurses experience major challenges related to developing nurse-patient therapeutical relationships. In the third stage, the nurse professional experiences fewer frustrations and becomes less anxious about the ability to give care correctly. On the other hand, I always feel secure and interested in attending formal and informal socialization classes because I have already accepted my role as a professional nurse. Claywell argued that nurse in the third stage of role transition appears more relaxed and interested in learning programs (2009).

Barriers to accomplishment of Claywell’s fourth stage of role transition

The fourth stage of role transition occurs when the student completely adopts the behavior and attitude of the registered nurse. The stage is made up of fully qualified nurse professionals with more experience in care delivery and professional socialization. Passing through the other three stages of role transition is always very easy but most students experience barriers were accomplishing the fourth stage (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013).
Firstly, the student may be denied a chance to practice to the full extent of the education and training acquired during the previous three stages. Health institutions set up high standards for student nurses to meet to proceed to the fourth stage of becoming registered nurses (Claywell, 2009). The fourth stage of role transition requires the student to incorporate effective nursing practices and demonstrate their skills and knowledge at all times. Moreover, the student must pass registered nurse exam that is sometimes challenging. In most instances, student nurses are not fully equipped with the necessary practical skills and experience needed to proceed to the fourth stage. Students lack the understanding of collaboration and inter-professional working elements vital for the achievement of nursing goals (Watts & Gordon, 2012). On the other hand, some students might be experienced in working in small health care facilities and the tests are done in big institutions making the student fail.
The government has a role to play to ensure nursing students progress through all the four stages of role progression. The main cause of the barrier is poor healthcare facilities and lack of necessary equipments to offer quality education to nurses (Claywell, 2009). The demand for nursing is growing faster than the rate of enrollment in colleges and universities. The government should offer programs that promote collaboration between institutions of nursing and employers in order to allow instructors equip students with necessary practical skills for easier transition (National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice, 2010).
The second barrier to student’s advancement to the fourth stage of role transition is the presence of many tests required to become a registered nurse. The fourth stage is the final process of role transition, and nurses who manage to get into this stage must be very serious and keen. Students and the institution have raised many concerns about performance on National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (Claywell, 2009). The instances of failure are major barriers to student’s advancement to the next level. Students make more than ten trials before passing to the fourth stage, which demands patience. Additionally, nurses undertake numerous practical and theoretical tests before becoming registered nurses. A study by Frith et al. (2008) on student’s preparedness for registered nurse exam revealed that 4 out of 10 students fail the exam each year (Frith et al., 2008).
Lack of motivation and quality education contributes to most failures in nursing schools and faculties. Nursing institutions should prepare their students enough to face the test in order to ensure students transit to the fourth stage without any barrier. Faculty members should introduce mentoring programs with the aim of preparing students for nursing exams. According to Coons (2014), institutions of nursing should set exams paying attention to the changing curricula and employment standards.

Differences between the LPN and RN roles

LPN and RN have major differences only understood by professional nurses and physicians (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013).

Education Preparedness

LPN and RN differ in educational preparation. In the past, nurses were taught only how to take care of the sick. Presently, registered nurses are trained in different health care knowledge and skills aimed at ensuring they understand patient problems (Claywell, 2009). RN gets into the profession after completing a recognized certification program and practical nurse registration examination. LNP must pass the above education requirements and acquire a license to practice as a practical nurse. The following difference has a significant relationship between the two professions because it determines the level of professional socialization (Frith et al., 2008).

Thinking Skills

RN and LPN differ in terms of thinking skills. Nurses use critical thinking while attending to different patient conditions. The thinking experience of the RN is different from that of LPN. Differences in critical thinking capacities between the two professionals ensure they implement different duties. The difference is significance in ensuring every profession has a role to play in socialization and provision of care to patients (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013).

Legal Responsibilities

The nursing profession gives nurses authority to perform duties depending on the level of profession of the individual. RN and LPN have varying legal responsibilities that help in determining the roles of each profession (Claywell, 2009). RN can only monitor and interpret changes in client’s medical status and respond to interventions. On the other hand, LPN checks the client and recognizes changes. LPN is also authorized to participate in changing medication plan for a patient in the absence of the physician (Dinmohammadi et al., 2013).


Nursing is a dynamic profession that requires constant interaction between nurses and patients. Professional socialization is very critical in ensuring patients enjoy and accept care offered to them by professionals. In the present technological world, it is essential to technical advancements to improve the quality of care and its outcome by ensuring more nursing professions understand the concept of professional socialization. The major plan for socialization involves using the internet to expand the knowledge of nursing professional socialization and its significance in improving the health care industry. The use of social media will play a very important role in spreading the knowledge about professional socialization. Additionally, nurse students should form groups and organizations to help each other understand the concept of nursing in order to pass through the four stages of role transition and achieve their education goals.


Claywell, L. (2009). LPN to RN Transitions (2nd ed.) St. Louis, MO: Elsevier
Coons, I. (2014). "Use of Standardized Tests Within Nursing Education Programs". UNLV
Theses/Dissertations/ProfessionalPapers/Capstones. Paper 2071
Dinmohammadi, M., Perrovi, H., & Mehrdad, N. (2013). Concept analysis of professional
socialization in nursing. Nursing Forum, 48(1), 26-34
Ellis, J., & Hartley, C. (2008). Nursing in today's world: Trends, issues, & management (10th
ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Frith, K. H., Sewell, J. P., & Clark, D. J. (2008). Best Practices in NCLEX-RN Readiness
Preparation for Baccalaureate Student Success. CIN: Computer, Informatics, Nursing, 26(5), 46-53
National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice. (2010). Addressing new
challenges facing nursing education: Solutions for a transforming healthcare environment. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Eighth Annual Report
Watts, C., & Gordon, G. J. (2012). Pre-registration nurse education: Overview of themes from
literature 2010-2012. Retrieved from

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