1. Narayan, Mary Curry PhD, RN, HHCNS-BC, CTN-A

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A definition of a professional is a person who is a member of a profession. The Professional Standards Council (2015) defines a profession as a committed group of individuals who:


* share specialized knowledge and skills, acquired through advanced education, based on research,


* adhere to the values and ethical standards autonomously developed by the group for the group,


* are recognized and trusted by the public to deliver high-quality care services in the interest of others,


* are committed to professional excellence and advancing the profession.



With the transformation of nursing into a research/theory-based discipline, requiring advanced education, with its own code of ethics, and commitment to advancing nursing excellence to all members in society who need nursing care, nursing is a profession (International Council of Nurses, 2014).


To practice a high level of professionalism, nurses seek to stay abreast of the latest research related to the needs of the populations they serve. This requires a commitment to self-directed continuing education through professional journals, conferences, webinars, and other sources. The values and code of conduct espoused by professional organizations (e.g., American Nurses Association's Social Policy Statement [2010] and Code of Ethics [2015]) must be incorporated into daily practice.


One of these values is respect and caring for each person, despite their beliefs, lifestyles, goals, and personal/cultural preferences. Other values include empathy, compassion, kindness, integrity, and altruism. Those with a high degree of professionalism advance the profession through mentoring new nurses in the values and practices of their specialty based on professional standards and guidelines (Narayan et al., 2017). They think critically about current practices and, when current systems and processes conflict with nursing values and best practices, they advocate for changes.


Nurses show professionalism by joining their professional organizations, such as their country's national nursing organization (e.g., American Nurses Association) and/or specialty organizations, such as the International Home Care Nurses Organization (IHCNO; Specialty organizations usually provide access to standards/guidelines for the specialty, a professional journal, and a certification process that demonstrates. members have knowledge and competence in the specialty.


Although the IHCNO is a relatively new organization organization, it has already developed the International Guidelines for Home Health Nursing (; Narayan et al., 2017), and sponsored three international conferences in the United States and Singapore. Since the pandemic, we have focused on internationally accessible webinars to promote education on issues important to home health nursing. Those who sign up to receive the IHCNO newsletter have access to educational resources and research opportunities.


The IHCNO funds research grants that seek to advance home health nursing throughout the world. One of our long-term projects is to develop a certification process after completing an update of the 2017 International Guidelines for Home Health Nursing. I urge you to join a committee, such as the Education, Research, Certification, or Guidelines Committee, among others, to help shape the profession of home health nursing and to work with and learn from nurses around the world.




American Nurses Association. (2010). Nursing's Social Policy Statement: The Essence of the Profession. [Context Link]


American Nurses Association. (2015). Code of Ethics for Nurses with Interpretive Statements.


International Council of Nurses. (2014). The ICN Code of Ethics. [Context Link]


Narayan M., Farris C., Harris M. D., Hiong F. Y. (2017). Development of the International Guidelines for Home Health Nursing. Home Healthcare Now, 35(9), 494-506. [Context Link]


Professional Standards Council. (2015). What is a profession? | Professional Standards Councils.[Context Link]