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The Characteristics of Nursing as a Discipline


Discipline is a phrase that has frequently been used by both scholars and non-scholars irrespective of the meaning. However, in the professional field, discipline has its characteristics that connote the area of study. This study shows that nursing embraces the renowned characteristics of a discipline namely tradition and knowledge output. Without, having these attributes, nursing could not be regarded as a discipline in the field of medicine.


Discipline incorporates the instructions laid out to a group of people to train them to enhance self-control to bring out the desired objectives in an institution or a community. Additionally, it entails the submission of an individual’s powers and authority to rules that are rebellious to a commotion. Conversely, nursing is the ability to provide clinical care to individuals to help them improve, maintain or cope with their health problems regardless of their illness.

Nursing has also been defined by the roles the nurses undertake. In that respect, in 1859, Florence Nightingale’s opinions about nursing were considered to be the first to view nursing as a discipline (Parker & Smith, 2010). Thus, as an upcoming discipline, the paper looks into nursing by discussing the characteristics of the discipline and the connection between the two.

Nursing as a discipline

In any professional field, a discipline has numerous attributes. The first characteristic that fits a discipline is tradition. From study literature, tradition is a trend that comes from one generation and continues to another generation (Parker & Smith, 2010). A discipline as a set of rules intended to maintain order as viewed in the definition shows that it is a permanent action that should always be retained. As a result, from the beginning, the nursing practice ensures that individuals of all ages regain their normal health. In fact, it is a rule for nurses to ensure that when people get unwell, they should help them understand and get used to their situation.

Such situations however might be brought about by either the treatment accorded to them or the side effects caused by the illness. The purpose of nursing should be to reduce suffering and pain in the best possible way even when death is expected. In most cases, nurses are answerable for the actions that they take with their patients (Polit & Beck, 2012). Since patients have different illnesses that are administered differently, their reactions to treatment are equally different. The reactions could be social, psychological, or cultural. The traditional purpose of nursing was thus to enable nurses to take charge of the above responses accordingly despite the situation of the patient.

The other characteristic of any discipline is knowledge output. Any discipline requires that the practitioners utilize the acquired knowledge fully. The professionals (nurses) are supposed to use their knowledge to determine and understand the problems of their patients and use proper tools and techniques to handle such health issues (Polit & Beck, 2012). The knowledge could be obtained from the opinion offered by other professionals or what they know about the conditions according to their expertise.

Nursing practice is both an art and science. The art aspect of nursing is the ability to be creative and put into use the knowledge a nurse has into practice while the science aspect is acquired via different inquiries and studies. Nursing entails the discipline of awareness and is engrossed mainly in the caring practice (Kim, 2010). The practice helps the community by handling vulnerable persons with lots of care, and this necessitates the utilization of the acquired knowledge. Providing this kind of assistance to humans brings out the desired well-being of an individual health-wise only when nurses put into practice the nursing knowledge gained during training.


In conclusion, nursing practice is a discipline that requires nurses to unite together, guide the findings and practices to maintain peoples’ health globally. These can only be realized when the acquired knowledge is fully utilized, and the nursing traditions are observed.


Kim, H. (2010).The nature of theoretical thinking in nursing. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Parker, M. & Smith, M. (2010). Nursing theories and nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: F. A. Davis.

Polit, D. & Beck, C. (2012). Nursing research: Generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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StudyKraken. 2022. "The Characteristics of Nursing as a Discipline." August 27, 2022.


StudyKraken. (2022) 'The Characteristics of Nursing as a Discipline'. 27 August.

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