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Nurs Forum. 2013 Apr-Jun;48(2):106-13. doi: 10.1111/nuf.12014.

Professional comportment: the missing element in nursing practice.

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  • 1Providence Veterans Administration Medical Center, Providence, RI.



The aim of this concept analysis of professional comportment is to elucidate the dimension of nursing practice that fosters cooperation, collaboration, effective communication, and team cohesion among nurses.


Professional comportment is a concept that has not been developed or analyzed, and its integration into nursing practice is unclear and not specified. The body of knowledge concentrating on the spectrum of professional comportment, civility, and lateral violence is presently incomplete. Analyzing and developing the concept of professional comportment will satisfy a gap in the literature. A concept analysis of professional comportment will clarify for the nurse the power of words, behaviors, and communication needed to achieve effective communication and civility.


The Walker and Avant framework for concept analysis was used to analyze the concept of professional comportment. An electronic review of the literature through the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, Health Sources, Medical Complete, and ProQuest was conducted. This review rendered approximately 300 articles, of which 85 were reviewed. Eighteen articles informed comportment as a definition and are utilized in this analysis. The individual nurse is the level of focus in the analysis, not the organizational culture.


Comportment is defined as a dignified manner or conduct. Professional comportment is critical in determining a nurse's effectiveness in relating, communicating, and collaborating with colleagues and members of the healthcare team. In the absence of professional comportment, a culture of incivility, nurse aggression, and compromised patient safety will emerge. Self-regulation and individual accountability are sequelae to professional comportment. The personal assimilation of professional comportment promotes mutual respect, harmony, commitment, and collaboration. The nurse, patient, and healthcare team are the beneficiaries of a nurse who demonstrates professional comportment.

© 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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