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Br J Nurs. 2010 Mar 11-24;19(5):295-9.

Are nurses blurring their identity by extending or delegating roles?

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  • 1St Mary's Hospital, London.


Nursing may be going through an identity crisis. The Department of Health commissioned research identifying where nurses stand within society (Maben and Griffiths, 2008), 'with the stimulus for the report being the sense that nursing had lost its way' (Maben and Griffiths, 2008). The professional identity of nursing appears to be unclear and an area where confusion and conflicting opinions are invisible. This, combined with the extension of roles that many nurses have accepted in recent years, may have allowed a blurring of boundaries between healthcare professions, which has resulted in a blurring of the professional identity of the nurse. Perhaps, while nursing was busily extending, expanding or delegating more traditional nursing duties, it lost its way. To this end, this article concentrates on identifying what professional identity means, then investigates changing roles and role extension nurses are undertaking, referring to relevant literature.

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