Integrity is one of the core values in life and in nursing practice. Patients count on nurses to make the right decisions and assume responsibility for their actions and all these rest on integrity. In life, people are also expected to be accountable for their actions, which is the basis of integrity. In this paper, I seek to define the word “integrity” as it applies in my life and in nursing practice to depict both personal and professional aspects of it.
My definition of personal integrity is the ability to do what is right all the time based on one’s intrinsic beliefs and motivations. As such, a person of integrity will not need to be watched and monitored in a bid to behave in a certain manner. Perhaps I could demonstrate this definition using a personal example. As a student, I am expected to uphold integrity in my studies, especially when conducting research and doing assignments. However, due to the overwhelming nature of assignments, I might be tempted to seek assistance from third parties as I complete my work. The proliferation of the Internet presents an opportunity for students to outsource their assignments and even open book exams. However, because I believe in upholding integrity whether I am being watched or not, I cannot even think of outsourcing my assignments to a third party. I have to create time in my busy schedule and complete my work in person because that is what integrity demands. It is important that people adopt this approach toward life and make the world a better place.
In nursing practice, the definition and application of integrity are closely related to what happens in personal life. According to the Conservation Model of Nursing by Estrin Levine, integrity has three aspects – structural, personal, and social whereby nurses are expected to “become part of the patient’s environment; her skills, education, and caring help the client to overcome their illness while seeing the patient in their entirety” (Dworkowitz, 2013, para. 6). This definition covers professional integrity. Based on this definition, at a personal level, a nurse should act in accordance with the set rules, resist evil desires, and self-reflect from time to time. Taken from this perspective, integrity becomes a complex set of values that guides the decision-making process and shapes our consciousness. Schmidt and McArthur (2017) argue that integrity could be defined by values such as “trust/honesty, competency, safety, accountability, and responsibilities” (p. 71). In my nursing practice, I have applied integrity in various situations in the course of interacting with patients. I ascribe to patient-based care, which requires the patient’s needs to take precedence over my personal beliefs and opinions.
In conclusion, integrity is an integral part of both personal and professional lives. On a personal level, I believe that an individual should act in a manner that is consistent with his or her beliefs seeking to do good at all times. Whether I am being monitored or not, I always ensure that I do what is best for everyone. I take responsibility for all my actions, which is a central definition of integrity. At the professional level, nurses are expected to interact with patients in line with core competencies that govern the practice. Integrity is a broad term that could be applied in various circumstances, but at the core of it is the ability to do what is right.
Dworkowitz, V. (2013). Elite Healthcare. Web.
Schmidt, B., & McArthur, E. (2017). Professional nursing values: A concept analysis. Nursing Forum, 53(1), 69-75. Web.