Career advice

Adopting professional values

Jane Redfern Jones explains the importance of streamlining our attitudes to those of our workplace

Jane Redfern Jones explains the importance of streamlining our attitudes to those of our workplace.

Nurses often care for vulnerable people and those who may have a lifestyle that society considers unconventional or unacceptable. To meet the needs of our patients, we should be aware of our own values, beliefs and attitudes, and not impose them on patients. We need to adopt the professional values of our workplace.

To help define your values, consider the activities and experiences that make you feel engaged and connected. Is caring for people something you wanted to do? Think back to times you have felt truly inspired.

If you can define your values and discover what is most important to you, then you can identify the area of nursing best suited to you.

Nursing workplace values have been summed up by England’s chief nursing officer Jane Cummings, who drew up the 6Cs for nursing, midwifery and care staff – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment. The 6Cs outline enduring values and behaviours that underpin care wherever it takes place, with six areas of action:

  • Helping people stay independent, maximising wellbeing and improving health outcomes.
  • Providing a positive experience of care.
  • Delivering high-quality care and measuring its effect.
  • Building and strengthening leadership.
  • Ensuring we have the right staff, with the right skills, in the right place.
  • Supporting positive staff experiences.

Recruiters for nursing positions need to judge whether candidates’ personal values are aligned with these workplace values.

When our actions and words are aligned with our values, we feel confident and satisfied. Through reflection and experience, we can align ourselves with the values of our workplace.

It is important to develop awareness of our own values to inform our relationships with patients, colleagues and employers.


Compassion in Practice – the 6Cs

Care in nursing: principles, values and skills

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