Descriptor: Formation and cultivation of a sustainable professional identity, including accountability, perspective, collaborative disposition, and comportment, that reflects nursing’s characteristics and values.
Contextual Statement: Professionalism encompasses the development of a nursing identity embracing the values of integrity, altruism, inclusivity, compassion, courage, humility, advocacy, caring, autonomy, humanity, and social justice. Professional identity formation necessitates the development of emotional intelligence to promote social good, engage in social justice, and demonstrate ethical comportment, moral courage, and assertiveness in decision making and actions. Nursing professionalism is a continuous process of socialization that requires the nurse to give back to the profession through the mentorship and development of others.
Professional identity, influenced by one’s personal identity and unique background, is formed throughout one’s education and career. Nursing identity flourishes through engagement and reflection in multiple experiences that is defined by differing perspectives and voices. As a result, nurses embrace the history, characteristics, and values of the discipline and think, act, and feel like a nurse. Professional identity formation is not a linear process but rather one that responds to challenges and matures through professional experiences as one develops confidence as a nurse.