What the Hippocratic Oath is to physicians, the Nightingale Pledge is to nurses. The very essence of this pledge needs to be maintained today as it was intended to be when it was first used on a graduating nursing class in 1893 Detroit (Wikipedia, 2007). Its importance is not to be understated – its meaning not to be devalued. For any nurse in a leadership position, it is necessary to engrain this pledge in one’s mind, rather than just repeat it for the sake of a certificate.
With this engrained mentality, the managing nurse will possess the capacity to effectively implement this dogma into the minds and lives of young nurses. The Nightingale Pledge is symbolic of the more general concept of nursing boundary theory. The American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Medical Association (AMA), the state and national governments of the United States, every university with a nursing program, as well as every nurse and physician all have well-founded interests in defining boundaries that represent ethical and safe behaviors concerning nurses (Holder, 2007).
As the world, specifically the US, continues to rely more and more on healthcare provision, it is unavoidable that some loss of integrity concerning the quality of nurses in general will occur. Young nursing students are not always as true-hearted about the profession as was the lovely Miss Nightingale. They may be drawn to the profession for a well known variety of other reasons including handsome salaries and constant, versatile demand for services. This precisely why the senior nursing staff must actively attempt to preserve the integrity of each nurse and thereby the entire profession.
The question then becomes how to do it; how to instill the solid and earnest concepts presented in the Nightingale Pledge into the minds and hearts of budding nurses. Education is the key (Wikipedia, 2007). As a leader, a managing nurse may initiate continuing educational services for the nursing staff. Programs that reinforce the foundations of nursing can be offered in a variety of formats. There are no rules for creative presentation. Five minutes at every staff meeting could be dedicated to boundary discussions, for instance. Staff emails could be sent regularly presenting a boundary “tip of the day”.
Colorful and inviting flyers could be posted on the walls of staff break areas if nothing else. The importance lies in the transference of the knowledge; in the sowing of the seeds of Nightingale. The managing nurse, and every nurse, should strive to uphold personal integrity levels as well as preserving the time-tested, well-earned respect for the world’s most caring profession: Nursing (Holder, 2007). As time goes on, nursing careers will progress in all areas and in all directions. A certain percentage of nurses will graduate for the wrong reasons; this is unavoidable.
With the necessary components of preservation activated and consistently engaged, the managing nurse can serve as one vehicle for the transference of this philosophy of care giving. It can be shown to young nurses that the gifts that they give daily to their patients and humankind in general are by far more valuable than the profession’s more obvious perks. Nurses need to develop a sense of family with all other nurses in the world (Holder, 2007). There needs to be common bonds inherit in all nurses. They must have a sense of community.
The continuation of efforts to uphold the high moral and ethical standards, such as those presented in the Nightingale Pledge, are integral to the future of nursing worldwide. Bibliography/References Holder, K. & Schenthal, Stephen. (2007, Feb 13). Watch Your Step: Nursing and Professional Boundries. Retrieved Feb 10, 2007, from Nursing Center: http://www. nursingcenter. com/library/JournalArticle. asp? Article_ID=696090 Wikipedia. (2007, Feb 13). Nightingale Pledge. Retrieved Feb 10, 2007, from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia: http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Special:Cite&page=Nightingale_Pledge&id=100440708
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