Integrity refers to an internal quality within oneself, demonstrating moral consistency and responsibilities (Singapore Nursing Board, 2018). It is crucial for Registered Nurses (RNs) to practice with ethical integrity, as nursing centers around people and health, where being moral and ethical in professions, especially in healthcare.
Consequently, ethics cover the theory while morals cover the practice (Bryant & Velle, 2018). Moral integrity is affiliated with ethical knowledge and actions that are impacted by mutually accepted ethical standards and principles (Lasala, 2009).
The purpose of this paper is to establish the significance of moral integrity in the clinical practice of professional nurses to uphold the integrity of the professional nurse.
The public trusts nurses; trust, however, is not an entitlement but a privilege (Lasala, 2009). As nurses are depicted to be knowledgeable, caring and competent as patient advocators, they are the bridge between healthcare providers and patients.
According to one of the Core Competencies by the Singapore Nursing Board (2018), demonstrating accountability for ones development has been a requirement to uphold the integrity of nursing as a Profession.
In other words, if RNs do not develop themselves or upgrade their skillsets, many would second-guess whether RNs are antiquated or too comfortable in their area of expertise. As Aristotle expatiates, Education is an ornament in prosperity and refuge in adversity Singh, N. (2018), thus, RNs should be proactive in developing themselves; to ensure evidence-based practice is in place, promoting competent patient advocacy to aid in the treatment of disease process.
Integrity itself doesnt only refer to being responsible and morally consistent, it could also refer to demonstrating responsibility and accountability for care within scope of practice and level of competence (Singapore Nursing Board, 2018).
Granted that a nurses interventions are linearly moral, nurses should practice with the patients best interests in mind, with increased role responsibility and demand, nurses face additional challenges to integrate moral concepts, values and integrity (Lasala, 2009). Possessing integrity in the face of these challenges are relevant in clinical practice, as experienced RNs may tend to cut corners through immoral actions.
To take a case in point, if an Assistant Nurse (AN) pre-charted blood pressure readings whilst being the Nurse in-Charge. The ANs misconduct, particularly in integrity would compromise the patients safety as inaccurate charting could lead to unsafe treatment being directed by healthcare providers.
Not withstanding the fact that it is human to err, making a mistake in healthcare due to negligence or immoral actions may lead to irreversible outcomes which further emphasizes the importance of integrity in nursing.
Upholding the integrity of a professional nurse is not a sentence that should be lightly treaded on, as it carries a heavy weight on the shoulders of RNs. Following the aforementioned points, this paper hopes to establish the importance of moral integrity in the clinical practice of professional nurses to uphold the integrity of the professional nurse.
Conclusiely, integrity may vary differently between nurses, specific sets of integrity principles should be emphasized, to promote integrity in nursing.
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