Nursing professional identity: an infant or one with Alzheimer

Ahmadreza Yazdannik, Zohreh Parsa Yekta, Aliasghar Soltani


  • Background: Each group or profession has its own discourse. Discourses create identity, support institutions and reproduce power relationships. Professional identity of Iranian nurses, which has recently had the opportunity to represent itself in social arena, needs investigation. This study aimed to make internal aspect of this identity clear.
  • Materials and Methods: This study was conducted by discourse analysis, using data of 23 semi-structured individual interviews and 4 focus group interviews with nurses and senior nursing students of Tehran and Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Iran, to evaluate their professional identity.
  • Findings: In professional self-concept, elements like spirituality value and low financial benefits were identified as well as conflicting features of holiness and humility, identity emerging, identity escape, low professional self-confidence and justice seeking, lost professional authority and pride.
  • Conclusions: Nursing professional identity has been formed based on cultural social structure, values and beliefs governing health system. This is a spectrum of a growing and emerging identity to a developed but forgotten identity. Although nursing discourse is subordinate in health system discourse, signs of moving toward professional maturity have emerged.
  •  Keywords: Professional identity, nursing, discourse analysis

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