Professional Role Socialization Paper
Chapter 4: Role Transition (Reprinted with permission from: Lora Claywell (2009) LPN to RN Transitions 2nd ed.) St. Louis, MO:
Ellis & Hartley (10th ed), Nursing in Today�s World. Chapter 1, pp. 26-28, Characteristics of a Profession.
The paper consists of five (5) parts and must be submitted by the close of week six.
Part I: Define professional socialization. Using the criteria for a profession described in the assigned readings, discuss three (3)
criteria of the nursing profession which support professional socialization.
Part II: Refer to the Four Stages of Role Transition listed at the end of the Module Notes for this module. Read and summarize each
stage. Then, identify the one stage which you are currently experiencing and support your decision.
Part III: Identify two barriers which may interfere with accomplishing Claywell�s FOURTH stage of role transition. For each barrier,
describe two (2) resources to overcome each one. (total of 4 resources).
Part IV: Claywell (2009) discusses 8 areas of differences between the LPN and RN roles: Assessment skills, Patient teaching skills;
Communication skills; Educational preparation; Intravenous Therapy; Legal responsibilities; Nursing care planning; Thinking skills. Choose three
(3) differences and provide supporting evidence how the differences you selected are implemented AND why they are such an integral part of
the RN role.
Part V: Conclusion. Describe your plan for socialization into the role of the professional nurse.
Professional Role Socialization Paper
Professional socialization is the whereby an individual acquire knowledge, skills, and
values that are key for one to start a successful career which requires advanced skills and
knowledge. It has a great influence on one’s professional development, it is therefore important
to understand socialization because it enables one to be able to strategize on the kind of
recruitments to carry out (Masters, 2014). Professional socialization is influenced by several
factors while the student is still in school and when in their working environment trying to
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develop their careers. Definition of professional socialization is mostly derived from the learning
norms, attitudes, behaviors, skills, roles and values of a particular profession. For an individual
to become socialized in a profession, he/she has to become conversant with values and norms of
that profession by changing his/her behavior and personality (Lai, & Pek, 2012).
The nursing profession is never that easy, actually its part of socialization whereby an
individual has to internalize and develop so as to build professional identity. Nursing involves
dealing with patients who are not easy to handle, and this is quite challenging because they have
to find ways on how to handle them no matter what. Some studies have shown that in nursing,
sense of belonging, and professional identity contributes to professional socialization. For a
nurse to develop in his/her career it involves a sense of becoming, personal commitment and
internalization of values. For one to gain professional identity one should be able to view
him/herself as a nurse and be able to perform job responsibilities skillfully. Nursing socialization
is whereby the nurse as an individual is able to have a sense of belonging, and be knowledgeable
(Zarshenas, Sharif, Molazem, Khayyer, Zare, & Ebadi, 2014).
Also, it is necessary that the nurse acquires the necessary values for the position change
his/her behavior and attitudes which are important to achieve the professional role. The period
taken by the students to study nursing is quite long and greatly interferes with their values, norms
and behaviors. Socialization is very important in the medical field because nurses, doctors and all
other parties in the medical field have to be able to develop, their norms, behaviors and values in
line with their profession. For nurses to be able to perform their duties professionally, they have
to develop a sense of belonging to that career. By developing a sense of belonging they will be
able to accept their career as nurses, this means that one is able to respect his/her profession as a
PROFESSIONAL ROLE SOCIALIZATION PAPER 3
nurse, which makes them to be able to commit, and improve on the career and on themselves
(Zarshenas, Sharif, Molazem, Khayyer, Zare, & Ebadi, 2014).
Transition is when an individual passes from one stage to another. The movements are
considered to have great impact on the person’s life and other people close to them. They greatly
affect their wellbeing and their health. The first stage in role transition is transition shock. This is
the stage whereby new nursing students graduate and are registered as nurses. When starting
career one is filled with anxiety, how to behave professionally and get used to practice and
practical application of class work. This greatly impacts the new graduate’s life and those close
to the student in different ways. This is because the graduate has to first get acquainted with what
happens in his/her profession, adapt to work environment and forget about class environment
which causes a lot of shock to them and takes time for them to stabilize and perform their duties
well (Duchscher, 2009). Transition stages enable employers to be able to understand their new
employees better. The four stages of role transition include:
In this stage, students are not completely prepared for the new environment and
the new responsibilities. The new employees are filled with anxiety and expectations
about the new roles. They are faced with challenges of understanding what is expected of
them and meeting their required tasks on time. In this stage graduates feel stressed
because they are not quite familiar with the practical environment and also they don’t
want to be seen as incompetent. Due to these pressures of the new job, new environment
you find that the new nurse personality is changing so as to adopt to the changing norms,
values and behaviors of the new profession. In this stage the new employee is not able to
perform many tasks compared to the other employees. Therefore, it is the duty of the new
PROFESSIONAL ROLE SOCIALIZATION PAPER 4
graduate to work hard to try and balance his values, behaviors, and norms with those of
his/her new profession (Duchscher, 2009).
This stage is after 4 to 5 months of working in the nursing profession. In this
stage their thinking, knowledge level and skills improves compared to the first stage. The
new nurses start criticizing the practice and the in competences of the health care
systems. The shock that these new graduates had is already gone and they are able to
handle tasks more professionally compared to the initial stage. Though these new nurses
have not absorbed their new responsibility completely a great change is seen I n them. In
this stage they are able to be given leadership positions and they are able to offer better
medical services in a better way (Duchscher, 2009).
The new graduates have achieved separateness which differentiates them from
the other medical practitioners. In addition, they are able to re unite with the community
as professionals. In this stage, some of the new nurses are still recovering while others
have completely recovered from the shocks and anxieties of joining the profession. In
this, stage Relationships between the nursing graduates and other medical practitioner’s
advances to different levels. In addition, their values, norms and behavior change to
conform to the nursing profession values, norms and behavior. Their confidence and
comfort improves to a higher level and they are able to interact freely with the other
employees in the organization (Duchscher, 2009).
PROFESSIONAL ROLE SOCIALIZATION PAPER 5
In this stage the new nurse is now aware of what he/she is required to do and is
more confident in his/her job. Though not easy to master everything in the nursing field
because it keeps advancing and changing every now and then the new nurses have a lot of
knowledge about their career. Accomplishing this final stage in role transition is faced
with several challenges such as, the new researches being carried about medicine which
make them to have to keep on gaining more and more knowledge about the career every
now and then. In addition, the emerging sicknesses which are not easy to handle make it
hard for the nurses to be able to achieve this stage completely.
Dealing with patients is not that easy this is because, patients come from
different cultures and the pain that comes with sickness makes them hard to handle. To
overcome some of the challenges in this stage, the nurse should ensure that: he/she is
updated with all the information about the new trends in the medical field and how to
handle them. In addition, one should ensure that his relationship with the other medical
practitioners is good so that they can be able to share their experiences in the field and
how they have been able to deal with their challenges. In addition, one can also decide to
go back to school to gain more knowledge and skills in the field. Finally, one can join
nursing association so as to be able to be able to interact with nurses all over the country
and share ideas and gain new ideas about nursing.
The stage which am currently experiencing in my nursing career is the being
This is because am now able to do my job well and meet deadline, am also able to handle
a large number of clients and I have improved on my service delivery. Also, the other day
PROFESSIONAL ROLE SOCIALIZATION PAPER 6
I was given the responsibility of heading the prenatal unit. I also feel more confident
compared to when I was new in the organization.
RN and LPN roles are very important in the medical environment and should be
clearly defined so as to avoid confusion and conflicts in the hospital. RN roles are about
directing LPN functions. LPN’S is concerned with providing direct medical care to
patients, operate as members of the healthcare team, evaluates the nursing care, and
implementing of care plan under RN’S instructions( Greenwood, 2015). It is therefore
very important for an organization to ensure that these roles are clearly stated and there is
teamwork between RN’S and LPN’S to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in the
hospitals. Also, the relationship between the RN’S and LPN’S should be good so that
there are no conflicts between the two groups because conflicts lead to poor delivery of
services and this is not good for the healthcare organization and the patients too. Role
clarification is very important in the nursing field (Shaffer, Johnson, & Guinn, 2010).
Communication is very important in all professions. In the nursing profession to
avoid conflicts RN’S and LPN’S it is very important that communication is ensured
between the medical practitioners. Poor communication skills in the nursing environment
can lead to inefficiency of services to the patients. The reason for choosing
communication skills is because, if there is poor communication between registered
nurses and licensed nurses in the hospital, probability of attending to the patients
effectively is low. The licensed nurses will also not be able to gain more knowledge in
the field. Also proper instructions need to be given to licensed nurse by registered nurse
for them to carry out their job and with poor communication cannot be possible. Finally
to make work easier for both groups communication is paramount.
PROFESSIONAL ROLE SOCIALIZATION PAPER 7
The other differences are legal responsibilities and thinking skills (Stream companies,
The registered nurses have more legal responsibilities compared licensed nurses
this makes them more responsible for the services given to patients by the licensed
nurses. An RN should have better thinking skills because they enable him/her to be able
to know how to deal certain situations in the medical environment. The three differences
are implemented by ensuring that the nurse’s roles are clear to them and they have the
necessary qualifications to do their defined roles. They are very critical to RN’S roles
because if they lack the three there will difficult in service deliver by the LPN’S. Also, a
registered nurse is expected to be more knowledgeable compared to the licensed nurse
because of his/her experience in the field.
Socialization in the nursing profession is very important because one has to
integrate his personal values, norms and behaviors with those of nursing so that he/she
can be able to gain career development and identity. Also, it enables a nurse to be able to
love his/her job and feel motivated and be able to deliver the best services to the patients.
My socialization plan into the role of nursing profession will involve the following steps:
I will first accept the responsibilities that come with the nursing profession and find ways
to adapt to the new changes in my life. Secondly, I will seek advice from other
experienced nurses on how they handled their first times in the profession and ask them
to help me through the stages. Thirdly, I will ensure that I don’t take I have a role model
in the nursing profession. Finally, I would ensure positive attitude towards my job and set
goals to achieve so that in future I will be able to measure my progress in the career. To
improve my services I will ask my workmates to be rating monthly. Also, if am not
PROFESSIONAL ROLE SOCIALIZATION PAPER 8
following my career goals I would also ask them to remind me and help me achieve
Duchscher J. E.B. (2009). Transition shock: the initial stage of role adaptation for newly
graduated registered nurses. Journal of Advanced Nursing. 65(5), 1103-1113.
Duchscher. J. B, (2009). A process of becoming: The Stages of New Nursing Graduate
Professional Role Transition, the Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 39(10),
PROFESSIONAL ROLE SOCIALIZATION PAPER 9
Greenwood. B. (2015). RN duties VS LPN duties. Retrieved, March 25/2015,
Lai, P. K., & Pek, H. L. (2012). Concept of professional socialization in nursing. Int EJ of Sci
Med Edu, 6(1), 31-5.
Masters, K. (2014). Role development in professional nursing practice. Burlington, MA: Jones &
Shaffer. L.M, Johnson.K, & Guinn. C, (2010). Remedying role confusion: Differentiating RN
and LPN roles, American nurse today. 5 (3).
Stream companies, (2015).what are the differences between a RN and a LPN.
Zarshenas.L, Sharif. F, Molazem. Z, Khayyer. M, Zare. N, & Ebadi.A. (2014). Professional
Socialization in Nursing: A qualitative content analysis, Iranian Journal of Nursing and
Midwifery Research. 19(4): 432-438.