1. DeHaan, Julie
  2. Friesen, Pamela K.
  3. Cole, Sherri

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DEVOTIONAL: Reflecting Christ Through Integrity & Professionalism

Sherri Cole, BSN, RN, wrote this as an RN-BSN student at Union University, Jackson, Tennessee.

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Maintaining integrity in nursing is paramount. Integrity is "firm adherence to a code of moral values; the quality of being honest and fair; the quality or state of being complete or undivided" (Merriam-Webster, n.d., a). Without integrity, the emotional and physical health and safety of patients and the healthcare team are at risk.


God gives people the freedom of choice. The choice to live with integrity is true freedom. Phillips Brooks, a famous 19th century clergyman, wrote:


God frees our souls, not from service, not from duty, but into service and into duty, and he who mistakes the purpose of his freedom mistakes the character of his freedom. He who thinks he is being released from the work, and not set free in order that he may accomplish that work, mistakes the Christ from whom the freedom comes, mistakes the condition into which his soul is invited to enter. (n.d., p. 10)


Professionalism is defined as the "skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that are expected from a person who is trained to do a job well" (Merriam-Webster, n.d., b). Being a skillful nurse with good judgment takes time and requires dedication to education and lifelong learning. Nurses must be committed to learning to maintain currency in practice amid the many advances in healthcare (Blais & Hayes, 2011). Being polite requires showing respect and behaving in a manner that shows consideration to others. Romans 12:10-16 (NIV) tells us, "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above in harmony with one another. Do not be proud... Do not be conceited."


Applying Christianity to our nursing practice invites God in. This invitation means our behavior will not be shaped by the world around us, but by Christ. The best part about this invitation is no matter what we have done, the acceptance of Jesus means we are unconditionally loved and forgiven, and granted peace that can't be taken away. This knowledge brings transformation to our life that in turn impacts our world.


The professional nurse can represent Christ's sacrifice by displaying integrity and professionalism to patients, family members, and colleagues, knowing God has control over every outcome. The result will be practice exemplifying what God intended for us.


Blais K. K., Hayes J. S. (2011). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. [Context Link]


Brooks P. (n.d.). The beauty of a life of service. In P. Brooks (Ed.), Addresses (pp. 9-33). Philadelphia, PA: Henry Altemus. Retrieved from (n.d., a). Integrity. Retrieved from (n.d., b). Professionalism. Retrieved from


Integrity Deterrents

What are ways nurses detract from integrity?


* Violation of patient privacy and confidentiality


* Fraternizing inappropriately with patients


* Falsifying records


* Not assisting patients with tasks for which they need help


* Not following through with appropriate action for pain relief or distress


* Participating in work place gossip


* Using a sick day for vacation


* Stealing patients' medications


* Not being a team player


* Perpetual tardiness


* Taking too many breaks


* Browsing nonwork-related websites on company time



Nursing School Is Rigorous! Part 2

In the October/December 2014 JCN, we shared helpful tips for nursing students from a faculty perspective. Some successful students would add this advice (Kersey, 2013):


1. Find at least one study partner or join a study group.


2. Read nursing materials during vacation breaks.


3. Keep materials from one semester to the next-this will come in handy!


4. Be extremely intentional about time management. Schedule everything: reading, studying, breaks, work, and sleep.


5. Do assigned reading before class; it makes a huge difference in understanding what is presented. After lecture, take time to review key points to help retain concepts.


6. Do as many practice exams as possible.



Kersey P. (2013, October 17). 10 Life-saving tips for new nursing students. Retrieved from[Context Link]