Professional commitment of Indian nursing employees with reference to geographic diversity.

AuthorTikare, Mrinali
PositionReport - Abstract


Nursing staff plays a major role in the healthcare industry. They are the first ones to be thought about when we consider healthcare. Dedication towards needy patients' good health is set to be the core of an efficient healthcare delivery system (Tikare, 2015). Thus, it is necessary that their needs have to be taken care, and a congenial atmosphere is created for them to work with utmost job satisfaction and content the result of which would be a high-quality nursing care. To sustain the brand image of the hospital organization nursing staff has to be well motivated intrinsically as well as extrinsically and totally committed towards the profession and the organization.

Nursing is a humanistic profession. It is recognized as a profession because it has a unique scientific body and needs theoretical education, practical skill, and professional autonomy (Jafaragaee et al., 2012). This profession has specific criteria, including a strong commitment to offering services to the society, belief in each individual's respect and value, commitment to education and autonomy (Jafaragaee . et al., 2012). Highly committed nurses are more responsible for delivering health care for the patients. Strong commitment to a profession is related to job satisfaction and intention to remain. The professional commitment constructs are important because it contributes to our understanding of how people develop, make sense of, and integrate their multiple work-related commitments, including those that go beyond organizational boundaries.

Commitment to the job or profession is one of the most important factors affecting the development and reputation of the organization. However, professional commitment is influenced by diversity based on socioeconomic factors, culture, qualification, age, experience, marital status, co-workers and supervisory relationship and the likes, available to the employees of the organization (Farooq et al., 2011).

Review of Literature

Cohen (2003) explained that there are different types of commitment in organizational life--commitment to the job, workgroup (union), team and leader, organization, and profession. An individual holds multiple commitments in the workplace, and these various foci of commitment have different consequences on workplace behaviors.

Professional Commitment (PC): Professionalism constructs were developed from sociology (Hall, 1968), whereas the concept of PC came from psychology (Porter et al., 1974). The construct of PC was developed from the more established construct of organizational commitment (OC). Cohen (2003) explained the concept of professionalism as the extent to which individual members identify with their profession and endorse its values. Lobna & Ahlam (2013) explained that PC is a concept that attracted a great deal of attention in the workplace for a better understanding of employees' attitudes and performance. The terms occupation, profession, and career were used somewhat interchangeably in the commitment literature (Meyer et al., 1993), all seem to capture a similar notion, namely the importance of one's occupation (Morrow, 1993).

Nursing Profession & Professional Commitment

Unlike individuals in other fields who might not have the opportunity to use their professional skills regularly, clinical staff are constantly and actively engaged in the very behaviors that define their professional role. Lacking of professional commitment has been found to be associated with intention to leave the nursing profession and also with an intention to leave the organization. Jafaragaee et al. (2012) made an operational definition of professional commitment in nursing as a complex phenomenon comprising intention to stay and work as a nurse, feeling responsibility for the profession, participating in professional workgroups, and tendency to career promotion. Jafaragaee et al. (2012) conducted a qualitative study and extracted loyalty and tendency to remain in the profession and responsibility to the professional issues from the theoretical phase. Commitment to promoting caring abilities, satisfying of being a nurse, and belonging to the nursing profession was identified in the fieldwork phase. Finally, two main themes emerged --'commitment to offering the best nursing care' and 'commitment to the promotion of the nursing profession'. The cross-sectional study conducted by Teng et al. (2009) in Taiwan, indicates that nurse's professional commitment can enhance patient safety and patient-perceived care quality.

The study by Sonmez (2011) observed that the numbers and quality of nurses are insufficient in Turkey and across the world. It is obvious that job satisfaction, job continuation, occupational commitment and organizational commitment of nurses are important. While the occupational commitments of the nurses develop during their education, they also differ according to certain variables during their work-life. He also affirmed that occupational commitment of nurses will yield a lot of benefits for both organizations and individuals. These benefits can be obtained as the nurses are more willing to make efforts for their profession, accept their goals and values and stay in the profession. Therefore, it is important to know which variables make them feel or not feel committed to their occupation. Laine (2005) described that older nurses and a high proportion of night shifts were related to low professional commitment.

Geographical Location

Very few studies are available on the relationship of geographic location/region and employees' organizational commitment level. Whatever studies undertaken in this regard have dealt with international geographies of culture as well as socioeconomic aspects.

Till date, the discussion related to organizational commitment and geographic region identified the following:

* Economic Status, Income, Employment Opportunities (Gelade & Dobson, 2006)

* Social & Cultural Aspects (Cohen, 2003)

* Organizational Structure & Strategies (Lincoln & Kalleberg, 1985)

* Immigration Status (Glazer et al., 2004)

There is not even a single study conducted on geographic location and professional commitment. In addition, all these studies have been conducted on an international level, but no study has been attempted on the professional commitment level of employees in the context of diversities of Indian states. Thus the question arises: Do different Indian zones have different professional commitment levels? If yes, why?

Research Methodology

This research study has been designed to be deductive in nature and reflects an objective inquiry. The study seeks to present an acceptable notion of the differences among professional commitment levels of the nursing staff with reference to four zones of India. The epistemology of the study has taken a positivist stance, and the phenomenon is explained...

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