Professional Identity Formation in Nursing: Strategies You Can Use

Professional Identity Formation in Nursing: Strategies You Can Use

In this session, we will explore professional identity formation in nursing and — together — design and practice strategies to form and foster professional identity for prelicensure learners.

Session Objectives
Following this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explore contemporary identity formation theories
  • Apply identity formation theories to real life situations through case study and role playing
  • Discuss the differences between forming and fostering one’s professional identity in nursing.


Nelda Godfrey

Nelda Godfrey, PhD, ACNS-BC, FAAN, is Professor and Associate Dean for Innovative Partnerships and Practice at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. A scholar and author in professional identity formation within the health professions, Dr. Godfrey is co-author of “The Making of Nurse Professionals: A Transformational, Ethical Approach,” a philosophic inquiry of professionalism in nursing. She is a frequent speaker and author on the learning science, design thinking, and ethics and also writes and speaks about innovative educational and practice models. Her chapter titled “Professional Identity” in “Gidden’s Concepts of Nursing Practice” is a clear and contemporary understanding of formation in nursing and the health professions. Dr. Godfrey and the University of Kansas hosted a 50-person, invitation-only think tank on Professional Identity in Nursing: Science, Strategy and Call to Action in September 2018. Think tank members are committed to moving professional identity language and understanding forward. Some of the results of this think tank will be included in her presentation.