Professionalization—or struggle for survivalquest; A consideration of current proposals for the reform of nursing in the United Kingdom



Should the current proposals to reorganize nursing work and training in the United Kingdom be understood as part of a strategy of professionalization? Traditional sociology and traditional nursing historiography tend to regard professional status as a natural occupational goal, and the widespread use of the rhetoric of professionalism in nurses' own writings and speeches would seem to endorse this. However, more recent work which uses empirical studies rather than secondary accounts and adopts different starting points is offering new perspectives. The documents proposing reform should perhaps be viewed more fruitfully as a struggle for survival through the evolution of a new occupational model, rather than as a covert quest for traditional professional status.