Professional socialization in nursing is the process that enables employees to acquire the required skills, knowledge, norms, values, interests, and attitudes in practice. Socialization helps nurses to apply the needed code of ethics acceptable in the performance of their duties. The process merges the affective and cognitive domains of nursing professionalism that governs the behavior and conduct of each employee in the sphere. Socialization in the nursing field is supported by social interaction, continuous study, and adaptation (Ellis & Hartley, 2011). The three criteria are the basic ones. The process of professional socialization takes place in a social environment with the learner as a key player. An individual learns from professional groups around him or her. Through interaction, people can learn from each other in different or the same departments. Established nurses mentor, direct, and guide new ones in a hospital. As a result, any nursing department can grow and develop easily. Additionally, through learning, teams in a hospital can gain expertise and keep up with changes in nursing. On the other hand, the adaptation of nursing practices makes people gain comfort and increases their productivity. For example, in a nursing school, learning will be achieved through interaction among students, faculty, or tutors. In a working environment, the interaction between employees and other professionals provides a platform for professional socialization. Additionally, a continuous study of the professional behavior of nurses in line with nursing practical training undergone by students and practitioners supports socialization greatly. The process of professional socialization experience boosts chances for employee adaptation in the environment and nature of their career. Employees easily adapt to their roles through socialization, helping them attain personal development in the sphere of nursing (Bae, 2011).
In the transition from a licensed practical nurse (LPN) to a registered nurse (RN), individual nurses are integral part of the process. The transition process involves different stages and experiences. The significance of transition changes with time and is aimed at helping students to practice their acquired skills (Harrington & Terry, 2013).
The first stage of transition. The first stage is aimed to help new graduates (NGs) adapt and adjust to new tasks in their line of duty. Most of the NGs get their first experiences of being in charge of a practice course if they have not had such a chance before during their practice. Therefore, their attention should be directed to the issues they are assigned (ANA, 2014). NGs focus further on covering up anxiety, fear, or self-perception of incompetence. This stage is an orientation phase, and it occurs in the first three to four months of involvement in a real working setting as a registered nurse.
The second stage of transition. The second phase of the translation process occurs in the next four or five months since it is a post-orientation stage. At this point, nurses can make more stable decisions pertaining to their roles and practices. Here, they have adapted to their working environment and extended their interaction with the rest of the people in the faculty. Though still learning, some of them may have made excellent achievements in their practices. Such results help them become more confident in their qualifications, and they can focus on the success of their assigned roles. At this stage, nurses are more experienced, having adopted the expected behavior in the organization. The understanding of their adaptation to the environment helps achieve comfortability in their career. The stage is associated with stability and advancements in the level of knowledge, thinking, and competence. However, at this stage, some challenges are experienced in practice. The perception of the nature of the career is what dictates the intensity of challenges. However, some issues like horizontal violence among employees, long working hours, stubborn patients, and other related challenges are prone to happen without any personal influence (ANA, 2014). The primary role for new graduates is to base their success on the skills and the expected nursing behavior taught during their studies. Young professionals also fight to balance their work and personal life.
The third stage of transition. At this stage, professionals are more stable in a way they perceive their career and perform duties set before them. In most cases, it is after six months of experience. Practitioners are used to their functions and are now flexible enough and strong to overcome a half of challenges they face in their practice. At this stage, most people can fulfill their tasks independently without necessarily seeking consultation in almost all cases. New nurses can identify problems and find solutions to them. The knowledge and skills attained in their coursework and prior experience are more productive at this stage than at the earlier ones. At this point, new nurses are almost equal to the older ones. They are competent and familiar with most of the practices carried out in their department. The primary personal role at this stage is to attain extreme competence in all activities in the organization and interact with the senior staff in an organization.
The fourth stage of transition. The fourth stage of role transition in the nursing healthcare field occurs in a period of twelve months. The stage is characterized by competence, full engagement in various departments of the hospital, and excellent observation of the expected behavior. At this stage, the personnel are familiar with a larger scope of the organization activities and all the duties involved in each phase. New graduates are not easy to identify as the level of their performance matches the one of the older personnel. Competence and independence levels are high at this point. The primary focus of employees is to undertake continuous studies to help them achieve further development and growth in their career. Additionally, they also focus on using their best skills to succeed in their duties and improve their reputation. Through continuous studies and achievement of success, they gain a promotion and salary increment as part of their growth and reward.
As a student, I am at the second stage of transition. It applies to new graduates. I have familiarized myself with the main issues associated with nursing related to my study. Practical experiences in hospitals have helped me join the real world of my career. I have acquired the expected behavior in nursing. I have gained more experiences at the first stage of transition. At the current stage, I am more focused on interacting with more people to learn from them. Growth and development are a result of the application of skills attained in real practice. Experience gives a student more courage and a chance to utilize one’s skills in practice. The people around contribute significantly to shaping students’ career foundation. For students to succeed, established practitioners are encouraged to support learners as much as possible. According to Harrington and Terry (2013), they are also urged to provide guidance and opinion to students and help them base their decision on the regulations and policies of the nursing organization. Fear, incompetence, and various challenges are experienced at this stage, but students eventually become perfect in performing their roles. The research by Ellis and Hartley (2011) claims that it is a learning stage for nurses, and even the established ones have passed through it. Therefore, embarrassment should not be part of one’s experiences (Claywell, 2009). Personally, I look forward to gaining the best knowledge and perfect my skills to achieve independence in performing my duties.
The transition stage has several challenges involved in a growth and development platform. Health care experts and researchers prefer to describe it as a learning stage because it is a journey, not just a step. There are factors that favor the achievement of the expected success, while others limit chances of successful transition. Different stages have their challenges, and their intensity varies too. The primary solutions to challenges involve adaptation and improved expertise (Harrington &Terry, 2013). For example at the fourth stage, stability, consistency, and comfortability are achieved due to the familiarization with the responsibilities and roles of nurses. Some barriers hinder the growth and development of a new RN. One of them is the lack of support and violence on the part of established nurses. Some practitioners view the progress of new graduates as a challenge to them. Therefore, they discriminate, bully, and mistreat new nurses to discourage them from achieving the success in performing their roles. This treatment is generalized as horizontal violence in nursing practices (Claywell, 2009). Established nurses perceive new graduates as the ones who are likely to take away their positions or lower their promotion chances. To hinder them from achieving success, they create an unconducive working environment. Some of the new graduates are forced to live with depression, and others even drop their career.
To overcome horizontal violence, the nursing organization should conduct random supervision from time to time. The practice will help identify the existence of horizontal violence, and nurses participating in it should be penalized. Severe penalization and the cancelation of certification of practicing nurses will make them cautious on their practices. Another strategy that may act as a solution to this barrier is the incorporation of mentorship and support of new graduates and the entire workforce by the management. Such programs will help new graduates complain and talk about the challenges they face in performing their duties and responsibilities. The organization will be able to find a possible solution to mitigating the problem and encouraging the affected employees. Through the execution of programs, workers attain support and are less stressed. As a result, an increase in work performance is achieved (ANA, 2014).
Another barrier that is identified during the transition process is the dominance of employees. Some of them consider this a comfort zone for their career. This kind of workers does not seek further self-growth and development (Ellis & Hartley, 2011). A continuous study and refreshment of skills motivates employees and helps them keep up with the changes in the nursing sphere. The failure to do this leads to the situation when some nurses cannot operate the latest devices used in work and other related changes. To overcome this barrier, the organization should encourage the personnel to study through recognizing the influence of those who are in charge of their personal growth. The management should promote or increase salaries of highly qualified employees to distinguish them from their co-workers. This strategy will encourage other people in the field to seek further studies and advance their skills to secure their positions. The approach will create healthy competition among employees and increase the effectiveness of the overall organizational performance. Another solution to this barrier is the incorporation of growth and development programs for employees. These programs offer a chance for the workforce to develop their skills, which ultimately increases their level of performance (Harrington & Terry, 2013).
The roles of LPNs and RNs are closely related in most cases, but they differ from some perspectives (Claywell, 2009). Such differences occur because LPNs always work under the supervision of RNs despite the fact that both are qualified practitioners.
The first difference is that LPNs are the only ones with the mandate to be in charge of operations in the hospital while RNs assist them. The ANA policies provide that RNs can only delegate minor duties, but cannot be in charge of all operations in hospitals. LPNs only help their supervisors achieve the success in performing their tasks.
Secondly, RNs are responsible for assessment and outcome identification to ensure that treatment practices by LPNs are proper. Additionally, RNs are also responsible for planning and implementation to coordinate the roles of nurses with that of doctors in charge. Plans are later implemented by LPNs under RNs supervision.
Therefore, differences in the nursing roles revolve around the management and execution of duties. The ANA policies provide that RNs are delegated duties but cannot supervise an operation and are assisted by LPNs (Harrington & Terry, 2013). Differences in the roles are not easy to control. However, defining the roles of each of the group helps the management in regulating their practices in a nursing organization (Claywell, 2009). The method also helps improve the outcomes of treatment and safety of patients in the healthcare field (ANA, 2014).
Socialization offers an excellent platform for learning, growth, and development of nursing professionalism. Therefore, I will utilize the socialization technique to attain the best knowledge and skills from experts and established practitioners in nursing. I will also focus on continuous learning to achieve better results, growth and development. I will set academic goals to create motivation and encourage nurses around me too. Their enrollment and support will help me achieve greater success through competition and increase my competence.
In conclusion, nursing role socialization plays an integral role in the development of practitioners. The strategy helps nurses contribute to the growth and development of each other and the nursing healthcare industry.