Lens hoods are primarily designed to prevent unwanted stray light from entering the lens by extending and shading the end of the lens. In addition, since the end of the lens is extended, you also get the added benefit of some extra protection from accidental impact.
Dedicated lens hoods are designed to match the specific focal length of the lens it was designed for.
When not in use this lens hood can be reversed and stored over the lens.
Nikon Clip On Lens Hood for 50mm 1.4 Lens with Nikon "F" Logo