This project is about how we think of ourselves as nurses and as people. We spend much of our waking hours in our professional work, and our work experiences both enhance and impinge on our personal and professional sense of ourselves. As professional nurses and midwives, we offer the best version of ourselves for the care of our patients.

This is a cross-categorical study of Australian nurses, student nurses and midwives. It is about a sense of professionalism, using theories of identity, well-being and self-regulation. This is an anonymous study, based on snapshot responses about what it means to be a professional nurse. The study is about how we perceive things today, and at this time and context of our career right now. The extent to which we may agree or disagree with each statement in the survey can be compared to how others in similar professional contexts answer the same questions. Student nurses are included in this study, as they are early-career nurses with a sense of professional identity from the moment they enroll in their study.

It will be interesting to know how nurses compare within and between categories. Questions which arise from this discussion include: Is a sense of professional identity stronger in early career, which dissipates over time? Are Mental Health nurses more able to cope with uncertainty and emotional cues in patients? Are Community nurses and midwives more needful of autonomy? Are Clinical nurses and midwives more structural in thinking? Do we nurses regulate ourselves and our career directions in favor of our personalities and preferences? And are nurses happier working in direct patient care or indirect patient care (management or education)? Do we feel nurtured and supported in our professionalism? Do we sort ourselves into a professional niche early in our career journey? To what extent are we blue-collar workers? And what does it mean to be aspirational or vocational as a nursing professional? This project aims test these and other related questions.

This page may update with links to further information throughout the project.
Jill M