In order to write a philosophy of nursing, I believe that first one must decide what philosophy means to them. Philosophy can be defined as an attitude toward life and reality that evolves from each individual’s beliefs. This definition gives me the freedom to use my own beliefs to help guide my nursing practice and I don’t have to just accept what someone else has decided.
It has long been debated if nursing is an art or a science, but I believe that it is a combination of both aspects. Nurses must be able to provide the art of caring and have the drive to research and apply knowledge that has been acquired by studying theory or in clinical practice. However, no matter how science advances, it cannot replace the human part of nursing which is the act of delivering high quality patient. The nurse cannot connect with a patient if they are unable to display a caring, empathetic attitude and approach. If there is no connection or ineffective communication then a trusting therapeutic relationship will not form and effective nursing care cannot be provided to the patient. Caring is at the center of what nurses do although the value of science is equally as important in clinical practice.
A competent nurse must be able to use the technical resources available. Nurse should possess the most current and relevant knowledge so that theory and practice can come together as one. Knowledge is also required when developing the necessary skills required to perform technical tasks. My philosophy of nursing addresses four things: society, environment, the recipient of nursing care, and the interaction between society, person and the environment. The simplest definition of society is a group of people with common interests. Nurses are held together by the common interest of providing care to patients. The environment is the platform for the society to live in. This can be described as a physical environment such as the area the person lives in, the home structure, or any tangible area the person encounters.
Environment also encompasses the person’s mental awareness. This includes the person’s spiritual awareness, emotions, thoughts/feelings about current situations. The recipient of nursing care is not limited to just the patient.
The family, friends, clergy, and other members of the health care team are all recipients of the care being given by the nurse. Everyone that comes in contact with the nursing process is affected either positively or negatively. All interactions between the society, the environment, and the recipient of care are dynamic and synergistic.
Health and illness are also areas that should be incorporated into a nursing philosophy. Health is defined as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease (Butts & Rich, 2018). Illness is any state that interrupts or hinders the process. Illness is a feeling of being unwell, with or without the presence of a disease, whereas a disease is a diagnosable condition characterized by an abnormal state of the body (Lee, Clark, & Thompson, 2013).
I have always wanted to work in a profession that involved interacting with people and being in a position where I could make a difference by helping others. I looked up to doctors and nurses as both role models and heroes, who looked important dressed in scrubs and unselfishly dedicated themselves to caring for others. Over the years, my idea of what makes a nurse has evolved from just a caring person in a scrub uniform who is often overshadowed by the doctor to a highly competitive profession made up of highly educated, well-respected integral part of the medical team. As an advanced practice nurse, I will possess the necessary education and clinical skill set to drive positive health outcomes and nursing scope and standards of practice have evolved tremendously over the years. The art of nursing utilizes a caring and compassionate approach to promote a therapeutic environment that supports healing.
The professional nurse must possess these art of nursing qualities along with demonstrating the knowledge necessary for providing competent care in compliance with the guidelines set forth by the American Nurses Society and state nurse practice acts (Hamric, Hanson, Tracy, & O’Grady, 2014).Nurses have responsibilities for individual and societal health. These responsibilities further promote the nursing profession’s goals of promoting, protecting, and restoring health. Nursing has a central unifying focus on these goals that is evident in the discipline’s collective and historical literature (Willis, Grace, ; Roy, 2008). I have always loved helping people and being the dependable one that others could rely on for anything and everything. It brought me joy when I was able to brighten up someone’s day or inspire a change in their lives. Becoming a nurse was my way of giving back to society because I truly enjoy helping others and I wanted to do something important and meaningful that gave my life a purpose or direction.
Giving my time and energy to those in need allows me to focus on the needs of others and what I can do to improve their quality of life. This is a much different perspective than when I started out as a nurse almost 12 years ago. I always loved learning how to apply new skills in the clinical setting to provide necessary medical care to my patients. I have found there is far more to healing than just the science or technical aspects of medicine.
The ability to show empathy and compassion towards our patients without passing judgment is what separates the nursing profession from other disciplines. Open and honest communication plays an important part in establishing a therapeutic nurse-patient relationship because it promotes an even exchange of ideas to ensure appropriate and safe care is being provided. Providing consistent, high quality nursing care promotes health and wellness along with disease prevention which directly contributes to improving overall patient health outcomes. Establishing a therapeutic environment aids in the healing process. My professional nursing philosophy also guides my personal life because I live by the same personal beliefs and values that are important to me in both settings. I have always kept in mind how important it is to treat others how you want to be treated which includes respecting and valuing other people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
I try to display a caring and relatable approach so that my patients feel comfortable engaging in a conversation with me about their healthcare needs and concerns. In conclusion, I live my philosophy of nursing on a daily basis. I do not have to be at work functioning in my role as a nurse in order to provide care and compassion to those around me. I exemplify my beliefs in every situation that I experience because being a nurse is my life.