The direction of this essay is to explain the ethics and integrity in academic work and how it can affect pre-registration student nurses in their studies to becoming a registered nurse. The essay will include information on plagiarism and how it affects academic work in the future, and what impact it could have on patient care. It will also include information looking into patient safety, patient harm, and how this relates to ethics and integrity in academic practice. Considering issues around respect, honesty, good moral behaviour, and self-presentation.
Ethical practice and academic integrity are vital in the nursing profession, for the well being and care that our patients depend on. “Nursing is the most trusted profession in the UK for the fourth year in a row, the annual IPOS MORI survey has revealed. (Hackett, 2019). Although this study claims that nursing is the most trusted occupation many other studies argue against this because of acts of plagiarism. This is backed up by a study from the Independent online that states. “The most common plagiarism method undertaken is the use of bespoke essay writing websites, one of which offered to produce a first-class nursing essay on ‘National and international health policies” for £195.00.” (Independent,2016). Students cheat to meet the expectations of their module to receive higher grade results. A few examples of plagiarism include Copying from another student, having answers on the palms of your hand when attending an exam, inventing false data, and using data from another source without referencing properly. The internet is at everyone’s fingertip’s this makes it easier for students to be dishonest and commit plagiarism. Students might not be organised when academic writing has been set and leaving everything to the last minute. (Neville,2010). Plagiarism can affect your work in the future of your professional career, you’re more likely to commit dishonest acts in clinical practice. “ Honesty is regarded as a basic ethical value and academic integrity is vital in the educational environment. In the nursing profession, it is especially important as the well being of patients depend on it.“ (Allen,2017). Being ethical in academic work means to be honest at all times, being genuine in your studies, and to make an effort through good skills. Being competent in academic work by not committing plagiarism and using others work as your own.
Academic integrity in professional work is very important, it shows that students can put all the professional values into practice having good character values will help towards being an honest and trustworthy person. As student pre-registration nurses it’s important to respect co-workers and to adhere to company policies and procedures. Working together as a team is very important as good teamwork shows integrity in the workplace. “Maintaining integrity at work is crucial for all employees at all levels. Having integrity helps to foster an open and positive work environment and an ethical approach to decision making.” (Page,2018). Learning can be difficult at the best of times, with the current situation with Covid-19 online learning platforms have been put into place to keep everyone safe to study from home. Academic integrity plays a vital role in making sure that everyone is reliable, for example turning up to class on time, having a good attitude, respecting everyone, having good attendance, forming good habits, and continuing to stay positive. It has also had an impact on lecturers who have always had a face-to-face teaching technique, this has made it difficult for tutors to get an understanding of how students are engaging in all work, this could mean turning the camera off while joining a lecture and not actually listening or making excuses as to why they couldn’t turn up for a lecture. This is backed up by an article that states, “ The typical levels of stress students were under during the coronavirus pandemic were further escalated as they were moved to emergency remote learning delivered, especially as, in some cases, these were led by professors who had little experience delivering classes in anything other than face-to-face.” (Eaton,2020). Being dishonest in academic work could have a lasting effect, this in turn could affect the way your patients are cared for. It was explained that, “ As nurses, these students need to realise their actions will affect the lives of many patients, and when you are a nurse, showing up late for shifts or neglecting to fulfil your job responsibilities won’t be tolerated.” (Childers, 2015). As pre-registration nurses, it’s important to take responsibility and accountability for all actions taken. Patient safety should be first and foremost and putting the protection of the general public first by giving the code of practice (NMC,2015). NHS improvement stated in March 2020 that, “ The number of incidents reported to the NRLS for England continues to increase, the 548,761 incidents reported from July to September 2019 represents a 12.4% increase in the number reported from July to September 2018 which was 488,242. (NHS improvement,2020). This website also sets out the type, degree, and setting to where the harm took place. As pre-registration nurses, it’s particularly important to ensure that codes of conduct and best practice are performed in the clinical and academic setting. This means to not take shortcuts or falsifying data which could lead to patient harm. For example, not accurately taking the patient’s observations properly and writing false data, this could cause serious harm/deterioration. After reading several journals, books, newspapers it seems that there are a lot of opinions regarding ethics and integrity in academic work. According to (Nuss, P.140), “Cheating and competition are not new issues for the higher education, for at least the past 50 years these topics have appeared in the literature.” It is very apparent that academic integrity and ethics are not issues, pre-registration nurses are relied upon and patients have an expectation of how they expect to be treated/cared for. By acting with integrity and good ethical practice in the long run this could improve overall patient harm, and gain a broad understanding of clinical skills through acting with good ethics and integrity.
As a closing point to this essay, it has been easy to identify many arguments between ethics and integrity in academic work. It has been covered by many sources that plagiarism isn’t a new ‘thing’. Acting with integrity in the classroom is a very important part of the study, respecting tutors and having an understanding of the new way of learning. In return this will show honesty through ethics and integrity through students career path. Committing plagiarism wont be tolerated and there are now many ways through online sites that academic writing can be checked for any kind of plagiarism.