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Professionals create organizations to work collectively on behalf of issues that enhance their work and their involvement in communities, ensure continued learning and competence, and use political action to influence policymakers to support mission of organization. Professional organizations offer a supportive way to learn leadership skills, to test ideas, and to follow these ideas to completion. Nursing has a national organization open to all graduate nurses, Indian nursing council, Trained nurses association of India.


Ø To understand the role of professional organisations in empowering nurses in their emerging professionalism.

Ø To discuss the functions of each professional organisations.

Ø To discuss importance of self assertiveness in safeguarding our profession.

Ø To study the vast scope of collective bargaining in nursing profession.


Collective bargaining- Negotiation between organized workers and their employer or employers to determine wages, hours, rules, and working conditions.

Assertiveness- it's demanding what you want in a confident way that harms no one but in the same time preserves your rights.

Unions- A union or labor organization is any organization in which employees participate for the purpose of dealing with their employer about grievances, labour disagreements, wages, hours of work, and conditions of employment.

Criteria of a profession

Various vital components of a profession are,

1. Education takes place in a college or university

2. Education is prolonged

3. Work involves mental creativity

4. Decision making is based largely on science or theories

5. Values, beliefs and ethics are an integral part of preparation

6. Commitment dominates material reward

7. Accountability rests with Individual

Nursing as a profession

Nursing pathway to professionalism has not been smooth. For decades an ongoing subject for discussion in nursing circles has been the following question “is nursing a profession”. Sociologists do not agree that nursing is a profession. They believe it’s an emerging profession. Nursing is rather considered by everyone as a profession now. Nursing complies with all criteria of a profession.

It has all greatly changed Now,

· Today, there is a body of knowledge that is uniquely nursing’s own

· Nursing is no longer based on trial and error but increasingly relies on theory development and research as a basis for practice. We call it Evidence-based practice.

· Nursing is now engaged in an ongoing effort to identify and standardize nursing diagnoses, interventions and outcomes all of which are parts of nursing process

· Individual accountability has become a part of nursing practice. Now society hold nurses individually responsible for their actions

· Majority of programmes offering basic nursing education are now associate degree and baccalaureate programs located in college and universities

Various professional organizations and functions













The Trained nurses association of India is a national professional association of Nurses. The present name and organization were established in 1922.


Aims center upon needs of the individual member and problems in the nursing profession as a whole. Such aims include 1. Upgrading. 2. Development and standardisation of nursing education. 3. Improvement of living and working condition for nurses in India. 4. Registration for qualified nurses.


1. TNAI gives scholarships for nurses who wish to go on for advanced study either here or abroad. 2. It helped to remove discrimination against male nurses. 3. Initiated much needed study and improvement of economic conditions for nurses.

4. The TNAI opposes strikes unless all other means of negotiating have failed to bring about satisfactory working conditions.


Obtained by application and submission of a copy of your state registration certificate. It is possible to apply for a life membership. The official organ of the TNAI is The Nursing Journal of India which is published monthly. The cost of this is included in the annual subscription for membership in the association.

It helps you to be informed of current events in nursing and offers opportunities to publish articles and voice opinions.

Policies and Practices of TNAI:

The Trained Nurses Association of India has for many years been greatly concerned about the economic welfare of Nurses and action which may be taken to negotiate for better benefits and working conditions for the profession. The following facts have emerged during this time:

· The TNAI cannot be legally appointed as a negotiating body either at a Local, State or National level.

· The advice of the TNAI is listened to, with respect, and sometimes acted upon. But such advice is given on the initiative of the TNAI, but the TNAI does not have the right of representation in negotiations.

· The TNAI as a national body can give a broad support to local or state organizations of Nurses.

The organization of the TNAI makes it possible for all nurses to participate at some level. Beginning with the local unit, which is usually made up of personnel in a specific institution, the level of organisation moves to the district, state and national levels. Members of the TNAI are usually most active on the level of the local unit. Activities and conferences, however, are planned regularly by the state branches and provide opportunities for valuable professional participation and development of the individual member.


It was formed in 1899. It’s an international association for all nurses in the world. Great emphasis has been on non discrimination.


1. Promote the development of strong national nurses associations. 2. Assist national nurses association to improve the standards of nursing and the competence of nurses. 3. Assist national nurses associations to improve the status of nurses within their countries.

4. Serve as the authoritative voice for nurses and nursing internationally.


1. Makes policy statements on health and social issues. 2. Offers a great variety of seminars 3. Maintaining and improving the status of Nursing around the world


All nurses can become members of the ICN but not as individuals. The individual nurse becomes a member if his/her national nurses association is a member of ICN. Nurses in India become members of ICN when they become members of the TNAI.


The Commonwealth Nurses Federation was formally organised in 1973 and operates in Six regions of the world which are East, Africa, Atlantic, Australia, Pacific, South Asia and Europe.

The TNAI is also affiliated with the Commonwealth Nurses Federation .It is made up of nurses associations from commonwealth countries.


1. Promote sharing, better communications and closer relationships between its member associations. 2. Provides expert professional advice. 3. Scholarships for advanced study. 4. Financial assistance for professional meetings and seminars. 5. Running an office through which funds can be received and dispersed for the benefit of nursing in countries which are represented.


The Indian Nursing Council, which was authorised by the Indian Nursing Council Act of 1947, was established in 1949.


Providing uniform standards in Nursing education and reciprocity in Nursing Registration throughout the country. Nurses registered in one state were not necessarily recognised for registration in another state before this time. The condition of mutual recognition by the state nurses registration councils, which is called reciprocity, was possible only if uniform standards of nursing education were maintained


1. Prescribes curricula for nursing education in all the states. 2. Refuses or Recognises Programmes of Nursing Education according to standards required.

3. Support high standards in Nursing. 4. Providing registration for foreign nurses. 5. Maintenance of the Indian Nurses Register. This register contains the names of all nurses, midwives, auxiliary nurse midwives who are enrolled on all state registers.


It follows the directions of the Geneva conventions in an effort to protect victims of armed conflict. Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland.

They delegate visit and inspect prisoner of war camps. They arrange for delivery of mail and food packages to the prisoners. They also offer emergency relief by providing food and medical supplies. A very valuable service is that of a central tracing agency which helps to locate prisoners of war and missing persons long after a conflict is over.

At times of armed conflict or natural disaster within country these help to give comprehensive care to the affected.


The world health organisation, commonly called the WHO is also a specialised agency of the United Nations. It was organised in 1948 for the purpose of helping to achieve the highest possible level of health for all people

The WHO has been active in nursing education and practice in a number of ways in India. It has offered guidance in setting up programmes of Nursing Education. The WHO promotes public health in many ways around the world. It is currently known for the declaration of working towards “Health for all by 2000 AD”. This declaration has given a tremendous push to developing primary health care and recognizing the very essential role of nursing in health care system


The Student Nurses Association organised in 1920, is associated with and under jurisdiction of the TNAI. In addition to providing a means of personal and professional development for the nursing student. The assistant secretary of the TNAI serves as advisor for the SNA.


1. Help student Nurses learn how the professional organisation serves to uphold the dignity and ideals of the nursing profession. 2. Promote a close rapport with other student Nurses. 3. Furnish student Nurses advice in their courses of study leading up to professional qualifications. 4. Encourages leadership ability and help students to gain a wide knowledge of the nursing profession in all of its different branches. 5. Encourage both professional and recreational meetings, Games and Sports.

6. Encourage students nurses develop a co-operative spirit with other student nurses which will help them in future professional relationships.


1. Fund raising for the TNAI. 2. Fund raising done for fine arts and sports competitions and conferences. 3. Special prizes given for outstanding achievement in specific areas of nursing education. 4. Unit activities include maintaining the diary of unit activities, giving quarterly reports, preparing articles for publication and distributing application forms for membership in the TNAI.


Fees are minimal and easily met by the nursing student. Nursing students who participate in the Student nurses association have a valuable opportunity to begin to develop leadership skills, competitive skills and an interest for the profession as a whole.


The Nurses league of the clinical medical association of India was founded in 1930. It became affiliated to the TNAI in 1936 and promotes membership in this organisation.


Promote cooperation and encouragement among Christian Nurses.

Promote efficiency in nursing education and service.

Secure the highest standards possible in Christian nursing education through the Christian schools of nursing.

Considering the special work and problems of Christian nurses wherever employed.


Activities include national and area conferences and retreats for its members. Development of leadership abilities is encouraged by participation in these meetings.

Each meeting also allows for sharing of problems common to the Christian nurse.

Provides expert professional advice.

Provides scholarships for advanced study.

Provides financial assistance for professional meetings and seminars


Membership fees are required and a life membership is available. Nursing students may become associate members of the league. Membership in the Nurses league may be a requirement for certain nursing positions under control of Christian employing authorities.


The CMAI began in 1905 as a fellowship of Christian missionary doctors to provide spiritual sharing and support. It gradually developed into a larger organisation which included other Christian health professionals and health institutions


To provide professional training through formal and informal education, publication of textbooks and other materials and scholarships.

To encourage community health work through training, advisory services and technical support.

To assist and support churches and health institutions with study and training.

To disperse health related information which will help with health education and lean towards a more healthy and just society.


Membership is open to doctors, registered nurses and ANM/Health workers, all health professionals. Students in health professional courses may also become members


Participation in professional organisations is of profit to you and to profession. The profession provides a means through which united efforts can be made to elevate standards of nursing education and practice. It also offers a means of voicing your opinions, developing your abilities and keeping informed of new trends. Registration is necessary for active nursing practice either here or abroad. This is done through your State Nurses Registration Council. It provides you with legal protection and protects the patient from poor nursing care.



Assertive behaviour means that a person stands up for himself or herself in a way that does not violate the basic rights of another; expresses true feelings in an honest, direct manner; does not let others take advantage of him or her; shows respect for others rights, needs, and feelings; and takes responsibility for the consequences of those actions; is able to accept compliments and criticism; and acts in a way that enhances self-respect.


According to Lazarus (1966)

Self assertiveness is expressing personal rights and feelings


In all spheres of our professional lives, we have to be assertive. It is a competitive world today. One faces many challenges in one’s work arena. Also one has to deal with all kinds of people. Some may be helpful and cooperative and others may not be so helpful. It may not be very easy to convince some people. At times your views may not be acceptable to the other person. Only if one is assertive can one get one’s way.


  • you have the right to have your own values, beliefs, opinions, and emotions.
  • you have the right not to justify or explain your actions to others.
  • you have the right to tell others how you wish to be treated.
  • you have the right to express yourself and to say, "No," "I don't know," "I don't understand," or even "I don't care."
  • You have the right to take the time you need to formulate your ideas before expressing them.
  • you have the right to make mistakes.
  • you have the right to stand up for yourself and for what you want.
  • you have the right to be treated with respect.


· Lets other people know what you feel, what you need and what you are thinking.

· Helps you feel good about yourself.

· Allows you to treat others with respect.

· Reflects confidence.

· Indicates decisiveness.

· Leads to a more satisfying life.


· At times if not properly conveyed, then one considers it to be rudeness.

· It can also reflect over-confidence.

· Can prove to be counter-productive.

· One may appear to be arrogant.


Assertiveness is considered healthy behaviour. When present fights against personal powerlessness and results in personal empowerment. Assertive behaviour among nurses is an important component for successful professional practice. Self assertion will eventually lead to further personal and professional empowerment. It’s all about valuing yourself and your profession. Becoming more assertive can lead to increased respect and recognition as a person and as a nurse. It can get you more of what you want. Becoming more assertive is a process. It's not something that happens overnight. As nurses work in different situations they have to be assertive in order to meet the challenges and to win the cooperation from others.


Be clear what one feels; Be clear what one needs, and How it can be achieved.

Being able to communicate calmly without attacking the other person, and saying Yes when the person wants to say Yes. It’s about being confident about handling conflict. Being able to openly talk about oneself. It’s about having ability to give and receive positive feedback maintaining optimistic outlook in life.



An individual is free to bargain for himself and safeguard his own interest. The phrase collective bargaining consists of two words ‘collective’ which implies-group action through its representative and ‘bargaining’ which suggests negotiation. The phrase, therefore, implies collective negotiations of a contract between management’s representatives on one side and those of the workers on the other. This collective bargaining is that arrangement whereby the wages and conditions of the employment of workmen are settled through a bargain between the employer and the workmen collectively, whether represented through their union or by some of them on behalf of all of them.


According to Marquis and Huston, 2006

Collective Bargaining may be defined as “activities occurring between organized labor and management that concern employee relations .Such activities include negotiation of formal legal agreements and day to day interactions between unions and management.


Collective bargaining is a procedure by which the terms and conditions of employment of workers are regulated by agreements between their bargaining agents and the employers.


· The main purpose of collective bargaining is the settlement of industrial disputes or conflicts relating to wages.

· It harmonizes labor relations.

· It promotes industrial enterprise peace by creating equality of bargaining power between the labor and the management.

· It improves working conditions.

· It prevents workers from getting into unfair treatment.


Nurses in the early 1900s were frustrated by their working conditions. Receiving little support from the established nursing organizations, a few thousand joined trade unions for assistance. In the 1940s nurses in California, Ohio, and Pennsylvania were assisted in the workplaces by the American nurse’s association. One well known independent union is the committee for the recognition of Nursing Achievement at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California formed in 1964; this union has had a successful history of working closely with nursing administration to advance nursing standards and nurse recognition. In the United States, the fraction of all workers represented by a labour organization is declining.



A union or labor organization is any organization in which employees participate for the purpose of dealing with their employer about grievances, labour disagreements,wages,hours of work, and conditions of employment.

Objectives of unions

Ø Wages: employees and their union can be expected to ask for wages which are comparable to those in similar jobs in the local market.

Ø Promotions: unions will insist that length of service be a factor in promotions.

Ø Layoffs: the union will insist that seniority play a part in regulating layoffs; qualifications being equal, the junior service employees will be paid off first.

Ø Discipline: employees will be disciplined for just cause; this is standard in all labor agreements.

Ø Grievances procedures: the union will insist that a grievance procedure be established whereby management decisions will be reviewable by representatives of management and the union; if there is still disagreements, the dispute will be referred to arbitration.

Ø Fringe benefits: pensions, vacations and holidays, social insurance, and general welfare programs will be part of the negotiations, with an attempt to make them comparable to the trend in our society.

Unions in India

Nurses unions or their collective bargaining power is the most vital and indirect determinant of working conditions. Strong union and its bargaining strength determine the conditions and facilities of work.

At present three unions of nurses are working at the central level.

1. All India Government Nurses Federation (AIGNF)

2. Trained Nurses’ Union (TNU) and

3. Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI)

Besides, there are two state level unions, namely,

1. Orissa Nursing Employee’s Association (ONEA),

2. Trained Nurses Association of India, Orissa branch.





Equalization of power between administrators and staff associates can be obtained.

Adversary relationship may develop between administration and staff associates.


Grievance reporting procedures become possible

Strikes may not be prevented.


Staffing for systematic and equitable distribution of work can be established.

Unions can interfere with the management of the organization.


Professionalism can be promoted.

Unionization is considered unprofessional by many nurses.


Nurses gain control of practice.

Leadership for unions may be difficult to obtain because many professional nurses have little experience in positions of authority.


The nursing staff and managers are the ones responsible for the problem. The lack of leadership skills is one major factor. In order to solve this problem, focus should be given to the nursing leaders and managers. Leadership training programs should be offered and nursing managers and leaders should be required to attend. These managers and leaders in turn should perform their responsibilities of teaching and guiding the rest of the staff in promoting a healthy work environment.

Nursing profession is the largest force in health care system holding the central role as health care providers. People’s health depends on competent and highly educated nurses. Nursing profession needs dynamic, visionary, educated and committed leaders who can protect nurse’s. Effective nursing leaders also ensure the quality nursing education for safe nursing practice. In addition they advocate for the public and the professional’s rights. Effective nursing leadership supports the collaborative, innovative and evidence based work environment that helps nurses to feel respected and valued in their positions.


1. Ann.J.Zwemier,

Professional Adjustments and Ethics for Nurses in India,

Page no: 232-254.

2. Zerwekh C Laborn,

Nursing Today,Transition and Trends,

Lippincott Publishers,

Page no: 262-267,401-424.

3. Patricia,

Leadership and Management,

Elsevier Publishers,

Page no: 475-476,80,183,376.

4. Lancastar,

Nursing issues in leading and managing change,

Page no: 305-312.

5. Professional Nursing,Concepts and Challenges,

Fifth edition,

Page no: 393-419.

6. Advanced Nursing Practice,an integrative approach,

Fourth edition,

Page no: 267-268.


7. Article “Nursing and their professional organisations”

AJN American Journal of Nursing,

April 1946 - Volume 46 - Issue 4 - pages 229-232.


7. Topic Professional Organisations and Regulatory Bodies at

8. Topic The Current State of Nursing Empowerment Related to Nursing Care


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Anonymous said...

Thank u very much. Its really useful.

Saratu G. Abdullahi said...

This is very interesting and useful I must commend, a great work indeed please keep it up.

Anonymous said...

Very informative n helpful thanq

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