This article examines some of the complex factors in the transition of nursing from vocation to profession. These factors include university education, knowledge, gender, and workplace environment. It argues that the conventional definitions and characteristics of the professions and knowledge are tainted with gender bias. The uniqueness of nursing knowledge lies in the combination of scientific and holistic knowledge required for patient care, which is different from other healthcare professions. It suggests an alternative means of recognizing the clinical expertise of frontline nurses so that their contribution to patient care can be acknowledged. Together with the extended and expanded role of specialist nurses and nurse managers, nurses can impose their presence and consolidate their power base in the quest for professionalization.
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