Aim The aim is to study Registered Nurses’ opinions and reflections about their work tasks, competence and organization in acute hospital care.
Background The definition of the role of nurses has changed over time and it is often discussed whether Registered Nurses have a professional status or not.
Method A qualitative research design was used. Data were derived from written reflections on diaries and from focus group interviews.
Results All respondents had difficulties in identifying the essence of their work. It can be argued that being ‘a spider in the web’ is an important aspect of the nursing profession.
Conclusion Registered Nurses tend to regard their professional role as vague. Managers must be considered key persons in defining the professional role of Registered Nurses.
Implications for nursing management This study contributes to an understanding of the managers’ and the importance of nursing education in Registered Nurses professional development.