Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Emily Droste-Bielak

Second Advisor

Mary Horan

Third Advisor

Stephen Rowe


The purpose of this study was to identify elements that are necessary in formulating a definition of professional nursing which are in agreement with specified leaders in nursing of the United States of America. This descriptive study used a two round Delphi survey technique. Forty-eight Fellows of the American Academy of Nursing (F.A.A.N.) responded to the survey. Each subject was mailed an introductory letter, a demographic inquiry and a questionnaire containing a list of elements of professional nursing on two occasions. The data generated by the questionnaires were analyzed through descriptive statistics, specifically calculating the percentages for each level of response for each element. A total of 161 elements were identified at the completion of the study. Of these elements, only one did not meet the criteria for inclusion in a definition of professional nursing.


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