Concept Analysis of “Calling to Nursing”

Posted on January 3, 2018 by


The current featured article in ANS is titled “Calling to Nursing: Concept Analysis” by Christie Emerson, MSN, RN. The article is available at no cost while it is featured, and I join the author in inviting you to share your responses and thoughts about this concept, and the information provided in the article!  Here is Emerson’s message sharing background about her work:

Throughout my nursing career in the United States (US), my colleagues and I have had regular discussions about our belief that nursing is a calling. In 2009, I began working with nursing colleagues and students in the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman, an area of the world where nursing is not a particularly well respected profession.  I found that the concept of a calling to

Christie Emerson

nursing was unfamiliar to them; however, they often described the same strong desire to enter nursing as my US colleagues, despite the poor image.

I am fascinated by this seemingly global phenomenon in our profession, and therefore, decided to explore the concept of a calling to nursing in my doctoral studies. I had many ideas for research topics, such as:

  • Can a calling to nursing develop after someone has been educated and is already engaged in nursing practice?
  • What is the relationship between a calling to nursing and the quality of nursing care?
  • What is the relationship between a calling to nursing and the character of nursing care?
  • Do patients perceive a difference between nurses with a calling to nursing versus without a calling?
  • Does a calling to nursing affect the length of a nursing career?
  • Is there a relationship between nurses with a calling and leadership?
  • How is a calling to nursing conceptualized across diverse cultures?
  • What is the difference between a calling to nursing and a calling to medicine?

I was ready to begin research regarding this concept, but I found that while considerable research on calling has been done in the social science disciplines, there is no consensus on how a calling is defined. There is very little nursing literature that addresses the concept, and no nursing studies that attempt to define it. My goal in this article was to analyze the concept of calling as it relates to nursing and develop a definition with the detail needed to guide reliable research.

I look forward to ideas and feedback from my nursing colleagues around the world about the concept of a calling to nursing.