How to Apply Integrity in Nursing (And Its Importance)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published April 9, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The dictionary defines integrity as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Integrity is often an essential trait in nursing since patients, employers and colleagues depend on nurses to provide comprehensive care. Learning about this beneficial trait can help you apply it successfully in your nursing career. In this article, we discuss integrity in nursing, share why it's an important trait, review its advantages, and show how to practise it as a nurse.

Read more: What Is Integrity? Definition and Examples

What is integrity in nursing?

Integrity in nursing refers to functioning according to the governing beliefs of the institution or hospital you work for and supporting its expectations and standards regarding patient care. It means being truthful about a patient's diagnosis and healing options. Integrity also means providing the same quality of assistance and support to your colleagues at work and the patients you treat. While it's a valuable characteristic in many workplaces, it can be beneficial as a nurse because you may work closely with people from many socio-economic, ethnic, or religious backgrounds.

Patients often expect nurses to be helpful and trustworthy, and these professionals may demonstrate their integrity by developing those traits. Possessing integrity and having it as one of your professional principles can make sure you offer a consistent and fair quality of care to all your patients while staying in alignment with your own professional priorities and ethics.

Related: Why Pursue a Career in Nursing in Canada (With Job List)

Why is integrity in nursing important?

Integrity can guarantee that nurses execute their professional responsibilities and uphold their obligations to their patients and employers, even though nurses may face various complex situations and professional challenges. Having integrity means that you're fair and honest and remain in alignment with your fundamental values at all times. A nurse's daily duties may be emotionally and physically demanding. Integrity is a valuable element of nurses' work, considering they support individuals and their families as they get better from injuries, illnesses, or other health conditions.

Having integrity not only allows you to do your job in a way that makes you feel good, but it also provides your patients and their loved ones with the confidence that the person attending to them genuinely cares about them and won't do anything that may cause them further health distress.

Read more: Nursing Skills (With Definition, Tips, and Examples)

Advantages of having integrity

There are a variety of reasons you may choose to focus on incorporating integrity into your job as a nurse. Having integrity as a nurse can help you to:

Establish a positive work environment

The knowledge that you can trust yourself and your colleagues can help create meaningful professional relationships and a constructive work environment. As a nurse, you work closely with other medical professionals and doctors to evaluate a patient's illness and create a customized treatment plan. Having confidence that you and your colleagues are committed to the same objective and are truthful about your intentions and actions can help everyone depend on each other and work together to create the right solution. This environment can help foster feelings of certainty, professionalism, and respect.

Be reliable and honourable

When you act with integrity, the people around you may find you more reliable and honourable. Your behaviour may demonstrate that you're someone they can depend on, and they can trust you to give them a truthful and professional response if they ask about a patient's condition, the health of their friend or family member, or the success of treatment.

People may feel at ease knowing they can depend on you to give them a truthful summary of the circumstances instead of saying what you think they hope to hear, and they may look to you for answers because they feel they can trust you. If you're reliable, doctors can feel confident you're administering the proper medication to the right patients and keeping precise records of their health and progress.

Receive forgiveness from others

Colleagues might be more willing to pardon any errors you make because they trust you have good intentions. It's not in your nature to cause issues or make mistakes when you're a professional who acts with integrity. If you consistently show that you're always trying to do the right thing and perform to your best abilities, others are more likely to absolve you if something unexpected happens. Realizing others acknowledge your consistent good intentions and behaviour may help you handle the pressure you experience on the job when challenges arise.

Develop your ability to perform your professional duties

Having integrity can help you become a better nurse and may help you with other elements of your professional duties. When integrating integrity into your practices, think about why you made the decision to become a nurse and what inspires you to help people. There are likely many reasons you felt drawn to pursue a career in nursing, and as a nurse, you consistently act in the best interests of others. Having integrity in your professional life can help you align with your motivations and purpose and allow you to arrive at work feeling engaged and motivated.

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How to practise integrity

Here is a list of steps you can follow to practise integrity in the workplace as a nurse:

1. Focus on honest communication

A crucial element of integrity is honesty, and one way to practice this trait at work is to remain trustworthy and genuine in your communication with colleagues and patients. Solid communication skills can allow you to show integrity at work by being transparent and thorough while taking the feelings and thoughts of others into consideration. As a nurse, you may be required to comfort patients as they deal with complex diagnoses or circumstances. Remaining trustworthy and reliable can help you comfort and care for the people with whom you work.

2. Treat others with respect

Another way to practise integrity at work is to treat everyone with respect regardless of their unique circumstances or physical abilities. You can show you have integrity by treating everyone with the same level of consideration, including other medical professionals, your supervisors, and patients. Whether you work in a medical clinic, doctor's office, or hospital, you may encounter various people who depend on you for supervision, guidance, and treatment. In addition to showing your professional ethics and morals, treating others with respect can help you earn respect and make your time at work more enjoyable.

3. Uphold ethical standards

Focusing on how you communicate and treat others are essential elements of integrity in nursing. They can also involve upholding the ethical standards and regulations of your workplace. Integrity can affect various elements of your work, including the standard of care you provide, how you record and store patient data, and the medications you administer. Ethics and principles can play a vital role in a successfully functioning medical centre.

It's essential all employees act with honesty and integrity when providing treatments to their patients. Having integrity can help you feel good about the services you offer and know that they're in alignment with the requirements and expectations of your employer.

4. Hold yourself and others accountable

An excellent way to show your honesty about your work and take pride in what you do is by holding yourself accountable for your actions. When you hold yourself accountable, you demonstrate to your colleagues and the people you care for that you're trustworthy and reliable, and they can depend on you to follow through with your intentions. Holding yourself accountable can involve recognizing when you've made a mistake and admitting it. It isn't easy, but admitting to your mistakes is crucial in creating meaningful professional relationships and establishing trust with others.

5. Follow through with your commitments

Following through with promises and commitments can show you are a person with integrity. When you commit to doing something for a patient or a colleague, completing the action shows your dependability and dedication to your profession. It may allow you to receive more significant or critical tasks and help a wider variety of patients because others identify you as someone they can expect to fulfil their promises. Following through with your commitments may involve going above and beyond the requests or expectations of others. The extra effort you show can be beneficial for personal and professional growth.

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