The 6 core values of nursing profession

16 February 2022 By Michael Bowyer

​Although the nature of the healthcare industry is constantly evolving, core values for nurses remain the same. They act as an anchor in a fast-paced, challenging and rewarding career, helping to guide nurses when they’re making important decisions and upholding high standards of patient care.

As well as the 6 C’s of nursing, the clinical values that act as guidelines for nurses when interacting with patients and colleagues, there are also core personal and professional values that nurses embody. These values are what motivate nurses, for example, an innate desire to help and care for others is a key part of the role.

If you’re interested in a career in nursing or are looking to refresh your memory on core values that are important in the industry, then we have you covered in this useful guide!

Importance of values in nursing

When working in healthcare, nurses often handle fast-paced situations that require quick decisions and specific skills, so having a value system in place is fundamental. Not only do they provide a framework of behaviour and help to influence important decisions, they:

  • Help to uphold high standards of care

  • Promote collaboration amongst teams

  • Enable nursing professionals to work more effectively together through shared beliefs

  • Ensure that the legacy of caring behaviour in nurses is maintained in the future workforce

The 6 core values of nursing professionals explained

The six core values of nursing are a series of values naturally held by most who lean towards a role in healthcare and agreed upon by the medical community as generally a good guideline for behaviour, conduct and practice. These include:

1.  Empathy

Empathy is an incredibly important value in nursing as it helps you build trust with your patients and enables you to focus on their point of view. Naturally, this strengthens your ability to effectively communicate with them and provide better care.

2.  Professionalism

Nurses should always remain professional with their patients and colleagues, no matter how stressful or turbulent the environment. Remaining strong and stable for patients in your care, who will often be feeling vulnerable, also helps reassure them that they are in the right hands.

3.  Autonomy

As a nurse, it is important to recognise a patient’s right to accept or refuse care provision. Medical autonomy is an ethical nursing value where nurses should aim not to influence a patient’s decisions but instead to make them feel at ease whilst educating them without bias on their choices.

4.  Altruism

If your friends and family would describe you as considerate and caring, always wanting to go that extra mile because you want to and not because you want any praise or acknowledgement, then nursing could be perfect for you! An important part of altruism is to not expect something in return for the care that you provide and advocating for fair treatment for all.

5.  Accountability

Accountability is another important value in nursing as you will need to demonstrate an ability to acknowledge responsibility for your actions and learn from mistakes. This is key to your professional growth and will prove invaluable in your re-validation and annual reviews.

6.  Curiosity

Nurses never stop learning! Nurses should be naturally curious and are encouraged to ask questions on the job to learn more about the role and responsibilities.

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