The Vision of Long-Term Professional, Holistic Careers of Nurses

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Ann Nurs Res Pract. 2018; 3(1): 1027.

The Vision of Long-Term Professional, Holistic Careers of Nurses

Brodziak A1,2*, Wolinska A² and Racute;zyk-Myrta A²

1Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health Sosnowiec, Poland

2Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Applied Sciences, Armii Krajowej Nysa, Poland

*Corresponding author: Brodziak A, Institute of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Koscielna St. 13, 41-200 Sosnowiec, Poland

Received: May 30, 2018; Accepted: June 15, 2018; Published: June 22, 2018


The primary author of this article is not a nurse, but a physician. The co-authors are nurses and help manage him the Institute, which has been educating nurses for 18 years. These persons taking care of the development of the Institute, as well as the results of recruitment for the next academic year, formulated a long-term educational offer of the University, which would enable students to realize an impressive career in the nursing profession. From this offer a new, a holistic professional silhouette of a modern nurse has emerged.

Our vision of a nurse who would like to realize such a longterm career assumes completing education according to several developmental paths. All of these proposed paths assume the completion of many elements of education that would be interdisciplinary, consistent with the holistic approach to nursing care and assistance.

Each of the proposed developmental and career paths can be finished earlier, even after the first stage. More advanced career levels are going in slightly different directions, although all of them assume obtaining an interdisciplinary education. The advanced stages would require gaining education provided by institutions outside, however, affiliated with our University.

Our vision, because it is very interdisciplinary, must raise concerns in some professional societies. These objections, probably somewhat different in different countries, would require overcoming the interests of certain professional groups and perhaps sometimes would require changes to some of the applicable laws. In short, our vision may seem controversial and therefore a discussion is necessary. This article has been written to facilitate such a discussion.

Characteristic Features of Nursing Education and the Most Common Challenges during their Work

Among all medical professions, nurses have the most intense contact with patients. Compared to doctors, they can devote more time to patients. The essence of their profession means that contact with patients is not only verbal in character because they also take care of the patient’s body. At the same time, the education of modern nurses who have graduated from schools, which meet EU standards, where the curriculum covers about 4800 hours, is extensive and complete. In first cycle studies, this program includes 60 hours of instruction in the subject “Psychology” and in the subject of “Psychiatry and psychiatric nursing” there is a total of 195 hours. In addition, subjects like “Sociology” (30 hours), “Health promotion” (65 hours), and “Philosophy and ethics of the profession” (90 hours) are taught. Much more time is allocated to these subjects in nursing studies, than in medical studies.

Nurses perform very different functions in the realm of various health care institutions. Some of them are employed in primary care institutions, in psychiatric out-patient clinics and hospital wards, environmental care centers, and sanatoriums, where they face challenges concerning patients’ complaints about their living, family and mental conditions. Therefore, the question arises whether a nurse should conduct some forms of psychotherapy and whether she/he is prepared for it [1,2].

Possible Paths for Completing Cumulatively Advanced Education

In general, the structure of advanced, holistic nursing education can be as follows:

{Bachelor’s degree in nursing studies + necessary courses + the most appropriate specialization courses + possibly master’s degree + psychotherapist / sexology competences + Possibly Ph.D. degree}.

I. In the case of following the path towards combining the nursing profession with advanced psychotherapeutic help, the above elements of education would be as follows:

{bachelor’s degree in nursing studies + necessary courses + psychiatric nurse specialization + possibly master’s degree + education in an institution recognized by a specific psychotherapist community + possibly Ph.D. degree}

Problems with the actual implementation of the above career path may appear in the final stage. The nurse can undoubtedly carry out certain forms of psychotherapy [1,2,3]. Such persons, however, may come across resistance from the psychotherapist community. In Poland, these societies assume that a psychotherapist can be a person after master’s studies in psychology or after medical studies, which completed training provided by a particular “school of psychology” such as a psychoanalytic school, cognitive and behavioral therapy school, Gestalt school and several others.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that the nurse has special, useful competences, inaccessible to other people realizing psychotherapy, which result from the fact that the nurse can examine the patient physically (touch the patient’s body). The nurse has also the right to prescribe many medicaments.

II. In the case of following the path towards combining the nursing profession with the competences of a sexologist, the above elements of education would be as follows:

{bachelor’s degree in nursing studies + necessary courses + nursing specialization in the field of gynecology and obstetrics + possibly master’s degree + post-graduate education in sexology + possibly Ph.D. degree}

Persons determined to pursue such a career path may encounter slightly different difficulties. Legislation in Poland assumes that a full-fledged sexologist is a person who a doctor is having completed medical specialization in the field of sexology, or who has completed a master’s degree in psychology and has completed appropriate postgraduate education.

It should be noted that the competencies of a nurse compared with the skills and knowledge of a person after psychological studies are more appropriate by reason of her knowledge in the realm of anatomy, physiology, pathology, diseases and her abilities to physically examine patients as well as her entitlements to write prescriptions.

The two paths of a holistic, interdisciplinary nursing career discussed above are only examples. Other possible paths for advanced professional development should be discussed, such as a nurse after anesthesiological specialization or a nurse interested in care homes for the elderly or spa treatment.

The Need to Stimulate Discussions in Several Professional Societies

As we mentioned, the interdisciplinary education of nurses is now already possible. However, in order for the effort undertaken by nurses to be rewarded with satisfying social recognition, it is necessary to introduce some new legal regulations.

Probably experience gained in some other countries would be helpful to improve the circumstances of such development in other regions [4,5].

In our opinion, it is advisable to discuss the problem of the long-term educational, holistic career of nurses among international groups of interested people [6,7,8]. Such a conviction prompted us to send this article to an international journal.


  1. Brodziak A, Rózyk - Myrta A, Wolinska A. Is the nurse able to and should implement some forms of psychotherapy? Psychiatr. Pol. 2017; 51: 777-781.
  2. Brodziak A, Wolinska A, Ulman A, Gadek M, Rozyk-Myrta A. Theoretical background and procedure for life review psychotherapy conducted by nurses in relation to older people. J Gerontol Geriatr Res. 2017; 6: 403.
  3. Brodziak A, Rózyk - Myrta A, Wolinska A. Story theory is a key element of many holistic procedures. Journal of Gerontology and Geriatric Research. 2017; 6: 454.
  4. Löfgren-Mårtenson L. From pioneers to professionals: A qualitative study of sexologists in Sweden. Sexologies. 2015; 24: 82-84.
  5. Fugl-Meyer KS, Giami A. Swedish clinical sexologists. Who are they? Who do they treat? Sexologies. 2006; 15: 14-21.
  6. Flora Rahimaghaee F, Mozdbar R. Cultural intelligence and its relation with professional competency in nurses. Nurs Pract Today. 2017; 4: 115-124.
  7. Wolter Paans W, Robbe P, Wijkamp I, et al. What establishes an excellent nurse? A focus group and Delphi panel approach. BMC Nursing. 2017; 16: 45.
  8. Heydari A, Kareshki H, Armat MR. Is nurses' professional competence related to their personality and emotional intelligence? A cross-sectional study. J Caring Sci. 2016; 5: 121-131.

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Citation: Brodziak A, Wolinska A and Rózyk-Myrta A. The Vision of Long-Term Professional, Holistic Careers of Nurses. Ann Nurs Res Pract. 2018; 3(1): 1027.

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