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The Significance Of Public Confidence In Nursing

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In this essay, I will be discussing this statement of ‘public confidence in nursing is essential’ in relation to the significance of professionalism and trust within values-based nursing. Public confidence is important because it affects attitude towards practice of nursing students and nurses and their professionalism. It helps to guide day to day practice so nurses can provide excellent care to patients. The nursing profession is a demanding, highly technical job and it is often undermined and isn’t given as much appreciation by doctors, patients and the general public (RN, 2011).

This and other factors can affect the confidence level in the nursing students and nurses which will consequently affect the way they practice. Lack of confidence in healthcare by the public can interfere with a nurses/ nursing student’s ability to reach their full potential and this can affect their professionalism. According to the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), professionalism in nursing is characteirsed through “purposeful relationships and underpinned by environments that facilitate professional practice”(NMC, 2020). The main purpose of professionalism in nursing is to provide a safe, effective and consistent environment to patients that also provide support to patients and their families (NMC,2020) . Nurses through graduate level education are socialised to work in an inter-professional manner where their compassion and collaborativeness is recognised (NMC,2020). “Public confidence in health care as a whole has been steadily eroding” (Collier, 2012). This elucidates that the relationship between public confidence and professionalism is that if the public are less confident in the healthcare system, in nurses in particular, then it can result with nurses slacking in professionalism. However, if public confidence in nurse and other health profession is strong then it would ensure that their professionalism is intact and that they would provide a more effective, productive care to patients. It would give them an incentive to value the nursing experiences.

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Knowing the nursing professions history helps us understand the importance of public confidence. For example, the Nurse Registration Act 1919 ensured that there was a register for nurses so they can be defined for their qualification and profession as a nurse. There were also supplementary registers that were specifically for other groups such as mental health nurses. This 1919 Act also helped establish the General Council of England and Wales. This meant that examination was compulsory to enter the register of nursing. All these changes ensure that in today’s society all nurses have been provided with a full education and regardless of what field of nursing it is, we are all seen as equal. As a consequence of all these historical important events in nursing, it has ensured that the public identifies us as an important profession on which they can rely on. This raises public confidence in nurses and as a result professionalism in the nursing profession is signified and helps ensure that efficient care is provided to patients. Therefore, the nursing profession’s history help us to understand the importance of public confidence because it provides a sense of identity and by understanding what happened in the past allows us to understand what caused changes in the laws and public eye and how it affects today’s society. Now, nursing is seen as one of the most important responsibilities.

Nurses main duty is to give care to patients. They choose certain values that their act accordingly towards. According to Mohsen Shahriari et al. in order for nurses to evaluate their actions affecting their functions and goals, the values they choose form a framework which becomes resource for them to “conduct towards clinical ethical competency” and how they face concerns with ethics (Mohsen Shahriari, 2013) . An overall recognition of the nursing ethical values can help nurse students and nurses to come together with a mutual understanding to reach a common goal of care in patients. According to the NHS, values that inform professionalism in nursing are things such as compassion, caring, competency, commitment, communication and courage, also known as the 6Cs (NHS,2020). Public trust in the nursing profession can be promoted by shared values such as listening to patients needs, respecting their dignity, communicating clearly, maintaining confidentiality etc (NMC, 2020).

To conclude, I have learnt that professionalism is a very important value within the nursing profession because it helps to safeguard the well being and the health of patients. Professionalism helps to maintain a positive environment where honesty, respect, communication, teamwork, compassion is held high in regard. This overall helps to reduce tension that can arise in a health workplace that is resulted from personal differences (Regis College, 2020). By addressing the question of how public confidence is essesntial in nursing, I have also learnt the important of the history of the nursing profession and how it has influenced the progression of professionalism throughout the years. For example, in 1969, the Royal College of Nursing carried the ‘Raise the Roof’ campaign. This helped to address issues such as increase in salaries, conditions were improved because recruitment services and retention were poor (McGann et al. 2009). When I go to my first placement, I will practice professionalism within my learning experience by ensuring I look back at the NMC codes and the 6C’s .e.g. I will ensure I show compassion and respect towards my patients by getting involved in personal care by listening and responding to their needs, I will act in their best interest.

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The Significance Of Public Confidence In Nursing. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 4, 2022, from
“The Significance Of Public Confidence In Nursing.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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