Feature Article|Articles in Press

Rebuilding Professional Identity

The Time Is Now
Published:January 03, 2023DOI:
      Rebuilding the nursing profession after the past 3 years is an opportunity to introduce and reinforce what it is to “think, feel, and act” like a nurse. The future outlook of professional identity in nursing is our nursology or nursing language for the profession. When our nursing language is used by all stakeholders, we will begin to reinforce behaviors and expectations of the discipline. This opportunity to clarify what defines nursing can help us quantify nursing value and communicate our impact to the public, legislators, and policymakers.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Nurse Leader
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect


      1. Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series: 2022 Workplace Survey. Nurses Not Feeling Heard, Ongoing Staffing and Workplace Issues Contributing to Unhealthy Work Environment. American Nurses Foundation.
        (p. 1. Available at:)
        Date accessed: December 2, 2022
        • Godfrey N.
        • Poague C.
        • Phillips C.
        From direct care to leader: what happens to one’s professional identity in nursing?.
        Nurse Leader. 2022; (In press)
        • Goodolf D.M.
        • Godfrey N.
        A think tank in action: building new knowledge about professional identity in nursing.
        J Prof Nurs. 2021; 37: 493-499
      2. Joseph, ML, Edmonson, C, Godfrey, N, et al. The Conceptual model for professional identity in nursing: an Interdependent Perspective. Nurs Sci Q. In press.

        • Landis T.
        • Godfrey N.
        • Barbosa-Leiker C.
        • et al.
        National study of nursing faculty and Administrators' Perceptions of professional identity in nursing.
        Nurse Educ. 2022; 47: 13-18
        • Owens R.A.
        Two-year institution part-time nursing faculty experiences during their role transition and identity development: a phenomenological study.
        Nurs Education Perspect. 2018; 39: 10-15
        • Owens R.A.
        Nurse practitioner role transition and identity development in rural healthcare settings: a scoping review.
        Nurs Education Perspect. 2019; 40: 157-161
      3. What is professional identity in nursing?.
        (Available at:)
        • Joseph M.L.
        • Huber D.L.
        Clinical leadership development and education for nurses: prospects and opportunities.
        J Healthc Leadersh. 2015; 7: 55-64
        • Joseph M.L.
        • HuberD L.
        Clinical leadership development and education for nurses: prospects and opportunities.
        J Healthc Leadersh. 2015; 7: 55-64
      4. Joseph ML, Godfrey N. A new mindset: from tasks to professional identity. Nurse Leader. In press.

        • Fitzgerald A.
        • Clukey L.
        Factors influencing nursing professional identity development: a qualitative study.
        Nurs Forum. 2022; 57: 1346-1353
        • Kwon J.H.
        • Shuler C.F.
        • von Bergmann H.
        Professional identity formation: the key contributors and dental students' concerns.
        J Dent Educ. 2022; 86: 288-297
        • Hayashi M.
        • Son D.
        • Nanishi K.
        • Eto M.
        Long-term contribution of international electives for medical students to professional identity formation: a qualitative study.
        BMJ Open. 2020; 10: e039944
        • Porter-O'Grady T.
        • Pappas S.
        Affirming nurses' value.
        Nurs Outlook. 2022; 70: 361-364
        • Kennedy K.
        • Leclerc L.
        • Campis S.
        The great realization: nurses are in the driver’s seat.
        Nurse Leader. 2022; 20: 480-484


      Nelda Godfrey, PhD, ACNS-BC, RN, FAAN, ANEF, is associate dean and professor for Innovative Partnerships and Practice at the University of Kansas School of Nursing, Kansas City, Kansas. She can be reached at [email protected] M. Lindell Joseph, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAONL, is clinical professor and Distinguished Scholar in Nursing, and the director, Health Systems/Administration Program at the College of Nursing, The University of Iowa Iowa City, Iowa. She can be reached at [email protected]