Professional Nurse: Roles, Values, and Skills


A professional nurse is a competent registered nurse who has the necessary knowledge, skills, and judgment to provide high-quality nursing care. Professional nurses must be able to work to provide safe, compassionate, and competent patient care, educate patients and families, and advocate for patients. Nursing excellence is achieved in various ways, such as lifelong learning. There are a number of essential skills for professional nursing, but some of the most important include critical thinking, interpersonal skills, integrity, and compassion. There are also speculated changes in nurses’ roles in the future. Professional nurses have to be competent in learning and interpersonal skills to perform their roles in ensuring patients’ wellbeing.

Approaches for Lifelong Learning

There are many ways to engage in lifelong learning, such as professional certification, membership in a nursing organization, online courses, and conferences. According to Mlambo et al. (2021) literature, in the United Kingdom, continuous learning helps the nurses maintain their competence and keep their licenses with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). Certification demonstrates that you are committed to lifelong learning and have met nationally-recognized standards of excellence. One of the most important things nurses can do for their career is to engage in continuing professional development (CPD). There are many ways to get involved in CPD (Mlambo et al., 2021). Nurses can attend conferences, read journals and articles, take online courses and webinars, or participate in professional networking groups to help them grow in their careers.

Staying current on treatment skills and knowledge is essential for nurses to provide quality care to their patients. Therefore, it is a nurses must take CPD so that they get on their way to excellence in nursing. In the United Kingdom (UK), there are many different ideas and approaches to lifelong learning that can support excellence in nursing (Mlambo et al., 2021). For example, the National Health Service (NHS) offers a variety of Continued Professional Development (CPD) opportunities for nurses at all stages of their careers.

Important Values of a Professional Nurse According to Literature

Professional nurse has essential values such as integrity, honesty, social justice, altruism, autonomy, and human dignity. Based on Poorchangizi et al. (2019) literature, integrity refers to the ability to be ethical and honest in all aspects of one’s life, while honesty refers to being truthful in both words and actions. These values are important for several reasons; first, integrity and honesty are essential for maintaining the trust of patients and families (Poorchangizi et al., 2019). When patients entrust their health and wellbeing to a nurse, they need to know that they can rely on their nurse to act in their best interests. This means that nurses must always be honest about their qualifications, abilities, and intentions. They also need to adhere to the highest ethical standards in everything they do, from providing care to interacting with colleagues.

Social justice and altruism also form significant values of the professional nurse. Social justice is the value of fairness and equality, and it drives nurses to advocate for their patients and fight for their rights. Altruism is the value of selflessness, and it motivates nurses to care for their patients unconditionally and put their needs above their own (Poorchangizi et al., 2019). These values are essential to the nursing profession because they ensure that nurses always act in the best interests of their patients. Nurses are autonomous professionals who make ethical decisions about patient care based on the best interests of their patients. Nursing is a demanding and stressful profession, and nurses must be able to work independently in order to provide the best possible care for their patients (Poorchangizi et al., 2019). Human dignity is another important value for nurses; patients must be treated with respect and compassion, no matter what their condition or circumstance may be. Nurses play a critical role in upholding the dignity of every person they encounter.

Professional Nursing Skills

The skills needed by professional nursing include critical thinking in decision making, observation, and compassionate care. As Guerrero (2019) observed, critical thinking is essential for professional nursing because it allows nurses to make decisions based on the best available evidence. It also helps nurses to identify and assess patients’ needs and to develop individualized plans of care. Critical thinking skills are particularly important in the current healthcare environment, where nurses are often required to make quick decisions in difficult situations. Nurses who can think critically are better equipped to handle these challenges and provide quality care for their patients.

Regarding observation, nurses need to be able to assess their patients and carefully monitor patients’ conditions (Guerrero, 2019). This requires excellent observational skills. Often, nurses will be able to pick up on changes in their patients before they are even aware of them themselves. This is why observation is such a vital skill for nursing. There are many factors that come into play when observing a patient. Nurses need to pay attention to both physical and psychological signs and symptoms. They also have to be aware of the patient’s medical history and any medications they are taking, as these can all affect how the patient presents. Compassion is another essential skill for professional nursing, and it entails compassionate care (Guerrero, 2019). This means coming from a place of understanding and caring for the whole person’s; body, mind, and spirit. It involves being present with patients, setting aside personal biases, and seeing them as individuals with their own unique stories. Compassionate care requires nurses to have a kind heart, be nonjudgmental, patient, and understanding.

Role of the Professional Nurse

During this semester I cared for elderly patients, they were vulnerable to health problems because they were more likely to have chronic diseases and experience falls and fractures. Professional nurses provide safe and quality care to the elderly population (Parker et al., 2021). That is to provide physical and emotional support, ensuring that the individual is comfortable and safe. They also pass information to the patient’s family members regarding their beloved one’s condition during the treatment process. Nurses similarly educate older adults and their caregivers about how to stay healthy by recommending necessary exercise and foods.

Health Promotion through Spiritual Beliefs

There is growing research that supports the integration of spiritual beliefs and values to promote health. According to Amirmohamadi et al. (2017) research, positive religious coping is associated with better psychological adjustment, including less depression and anxiety. Spiritual beliefs entail having a connection with a higher power (God), which makes a person peaceful, thus preventing them from stress-related ailments. The authors also state that spirituality is the backbone of human health and welfare; they add that many scholars agree with the statement (Amirmohamadi et al., 2017). This research purely supports that spiritual values and beliefs form a key pillar in better health promotion.

Nursing History

Over the past several decades, the role of the registered nurses (RN) has changed dramatically and gone beyond the bedside. As Punjot (2019) literature revealed, RNs are now found in a variety of positions, such as nurse researcher and forensic nurse consultant. Nurse researchers perform studies to determine how different health care policies impact patients’ outcomes. Forensic nurses work with law enforcement agencies to investigate crimes, such as sexual assault or child abuse (Punjot, 2019). Additionally, nurses now have access to more opportunities for continuing education and career advancement (Lam, 00:29:12). With the increasing importance placed on evidence-based practice in healthcare, nurses are also playing a key role in research studies and clinical trials. As healthcare continues to evolve, so too will the role of the nurse. The professional nurse will continue to play a vital role in the delivery of healthcare, with an increasing focus on preventative and population health.

Healthcare services deliverance is in line with Nightingale’s vision that the nurse should be at the forefront of public health initiatives. Nurses, such as Mary Breckenridge and The Rockefeller Foundation, supported public health in several ways (Lam, Part 2, 00:20:55). The professional nurse’s role in the future will continue to be one of providing patient care and ensuring standardization of care across all healthcare settings. Nurses will also play an important role in chronic disease screening and improvement of work conditions for nurses.

Review and Reflection on Professional Nursing

Nothing changed from the first-day statement which held that ‘RN acts as defense forces for our community.’ Based on Basinska et al. (2021) literature, registered nurses play an important role in supporting care teams and developing nursing care in nursing homes. For example, they may help to manage patient appointments, coordinate care plans, and provide training for other staff. This helps to ensure that patients receive high-quality care that meets their individual needs. Nurses must be committed to ongoing personal development and strive for excellence in all that they do (Díaz & Castilla, 2017). My professional values include compassion and integrity when handling patients; I maintain these values by being service-oriented to patients.

I think that being excellent holistic professional nurses today means being able to listen deeply, connect with others, and show compassion. Nurses who strive for excellence in holistic care see their work as more than just a job; it is a calling. They go the extra mile to ensure that their patients are heard and understood. Additionally, holistic nurses must be able to work collaboratively with other members of the healthcare team in order to provide the best possible care for their patients (Díaz & Castilla, 2017). Holistic nurses must always maintain a focus on the whole person, not just their illness or injury.


In conclusion, professional nurses’ roles are to take care of patients. There are several ways through which the nurses can achieve competency in attending to the patients perfecting. They are expected to undergo lifelong learning and possess interpersonal skills such as compassion, integrity, and critical thinking. Conversely, the values expected of these nurses are human dignity, honesty, altruism, integrity, social justice, and autonomy. They are similarly allowed to acquire continuous education from online sources and accredited institutions.


Amirmohamadi, M., Borhani, F., Kiani, M., Almasi-Hashiani, A., & Naghavi, B. (2017). The correlation between spiritual wellbeing and depression in elderly patients with cancer in Iran. Middle East Journal of Family Medicine, 7(10), 129. Web.

Basinska, K., Wellens, N. I., Simon, M., Zeller, A., Kressig, R. W., & Zúñiga, F. (2021). Registered nurses in expanded roles improve care in nursing homes: Swiss perspective based on the modified Delphi method. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 77(2), 742-754. Web.

Díaz, C. A., & Castilla, R. A. (2017). The future of nursing: Assumption of new roles and responsibilities. Journal of Community and Public Health Nursing, 3, 158. Web.

Guerrero, J. G. (2019). Practice rationale care model: The art and science of clinical reasoning, decision making and judgment in the nursing process. Open Journal of Nursing, 9(2), 88-79. Web.

Lam K. (2008). History of nursing: The early years [Video]. Ken Lam, Jessica Tanenbaum.

Mlambo, M., Silén, C., & McGrath, C. (2021). Lifelong learning and nurses’ continuing professional development, a metasynthesis of the literature. BMC Nursing, 20(1), 1-13. Web.

Parker, D., Dunning, T., Goddard-Jones, M., & Mather, C. (2021). The role of nurses in supporting older people to access quality, safe aged care. Web.

Poorchangizi, B., Borhani, F., Abbaszadeh, A., Mirzaee, M., & Farokhzadian, J. (2019). The importance of professional values from nursing students’ perspective. BMC Nursing, 18(1), 1-7. Web.

Punjot, P. (2019). Nurse’s Role: Beyond the Bedside. International Journal of Nursing Education and Research, 7(3), 432-434. Web.

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