The Nightingale Pledge, also known as the Nursing Hippocratic Oath,
“I solemnly pledge myself before God and presence of this assembly;
To pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully.
I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug.
I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling.
With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”
Nursing is the nation’s largest health care profession with more than 3.1 million nurses practicing nationwide. Despite its large size, many more nurses are needed into the foreseeable future to meet the growing demand for nursing care. Nurses comprise the largest single component of hospital staff, are the primary providers of hospital patient care, and deliver most of the nation’s long-term care, home care and hospice care.
Most health care services involve some form of care by nurses. Although 62.2 percent of all employed RNs work in hospitals, many are employed in a wide range of other settings, including private practices, public health agencies, primary care clinics, home health care, outpatient surgicenters, health maintenance organizations, nursing school-operated nursing centers, insurance and managed care companies, nursing homes, schools, mental health agencies, hospices, the military, and industry. Other nurses work in careers as college and university educators preparing future nurses or as scientists developing advances in many areas of health care and health promotion.
Though often working collaboratively, nurses do not simply “assist” physicians and other health care providers. Instead, they practice independently within their own defined scope of practice. Nursing roles range from direct patient care to case management, establishing nursing practice standards, developing quality assurance procedures, and directing complex nursing care systems.
With more than four times as many nurses in the United States as physicians, nursing delivers an extended array of health care services, including primary and preventive care by advanced, independent nurse practitioners in such clinical areas as pediatrics, family health, women’s health, and gerontological care. Nursing’s scope also includes care by clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse-midwives and nurse anesthetists, as well as care in cardiac, oncology, neonatal, neurological, and obstetric/gynecological nursing and other advanced clinical specialties.
Over the years, the field of nursing has maintained the highest standards with a patient center focus. A recent survey from Gallup finds that nursing is the most trusted profession in the United States, with respondents rating nurses highest for honesty and ethics. The telephone survey of 805 adults gauged respondents’ attitudes toward a number of popular professions. This year’s rating is the highest since 1999 when the profession was first included in the poll. The one year nurses didn’t top the list? It was 2001, after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, when firefighters were included for the first and only time and scored higher. Gallup conducts the telephone survey in late November each year.
So, before this year’s survey begins all of us at Front Range Hospice and Palliative Care wish all nurses a career filled with compassion, growth and above all self-enrichment. Happy Nurses Week!!!!