In accordance to the Singapore Nursing Boards (SNB) Nurses pledge (2018a), newly graduated Nurses are required to recite, I will uphold the integrity of the professional nurse.
Integrity refers to an internal quality within oneself, demonstrating moral consistency and responsibilities (SNB, 2018a). Consequently, Moral integrity is affiliated with ethical knowledge and moral acts that are impacted by mutually accepted ethical standards and principles (Lasala, 2009).
Ethics cover the theory while morals cover the practice (Bryant & Velle, 2018). As nursing centers around people and health, Registered Nurses (RNs) should practice with moral integrity critically. The purpose of this paper is to to uphold the integrity of the professional nurse by establishing the significance of moral integrity in the clinical practice.
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The public trusts nurses; trust, however, is not an entitlement, but a privilege (Lasala, 2009). Ethical behavior is a vital component of nursing practice, and may be influenced by the opinions and actions of peers (Hart and Morgan, 2010). As nurses are depicted to be knowledgeable, caring and competent as patient advocators, they are the bridge between healthcare providers and patients.
Granted that a nurses interventions are 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 moral integrity in the face of these challenges are relevant in clinical practice, as RNs may tend to cut corners through immoral acts.
Depending on the individuality of virtues and morality, nurses misconduct, particularly in integrity, could cause a mishap in patient care. According to Jones, Johnstone & Duke (2016), cutting corners creates gaps, contributing to preventable adverse events. Not withstanding the fact that it is human to err, negligence or immoral acts may lead to irreversible outcomes, further emphasizing the significance of moral integrity in nursing.
Integrity itself does not exclusively refer to responsibility and moral consistency, it also refers to demonstrating responsibility and accountability for care within scope of practice and level of competence (SNB, 2018b).
According to one of the Core Competencies by the SNB (2018b), demonstrating accountability for ones development has been a requirement to uphold the integrity of nursing as a Profession. As Aristotle expatiates, Education is an ornament in prosperity and refuge in adversity (Singh, N., 2018). In other words, if RNs excludes themselves in upgrading their skillsets, many would second-guess whether RNs are antiquated or too comfortable in their area of expertise. Thus, RNs should be proactive in developing themselves; to ensure evidence-based practice is in place, facilitating competent patient care.
Upholding the integrity of a professional nurse is not a statement that should be lightly treaded on, as it carries a heavy weight on the shoulders of RNs. Following the aforementioned points, the prevalence of moral integrity in clinical practice is paramount in upholding the integrity of professional nurse. Nurses whom strive to uphold integrity should keep in mind that moral practices should be kept consistently; although challenges may arise, ethical standards should be utilized as a guideline. Conclusively, integrity may vary inconsistently between nurses, but specific sets of integrity principles should be emphasized, establishing the significance of moral integrity in clinical practice to uphold the integrity of the professional nurse.
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