Abstract: This paper explores the personal nursing philosophy I plan to convey in my nursing career. I believe the nature of nursing is rooted in commitment to public service and the undeniable desire to help those in need. Nursing is more than treating an illness; rather it is focused on delivering quality patient care that is individualized to the needs of each patient.
My philosophy of nursing incorporates the knowledge of medicine while combining it with relational, compassionate caring that respects the dignity of each patient. I believe nursing care should be holistic while honoring patient values. A crucial aspect of nursing is interprofessional relationships, and collaborative efforts among healthcare professionals promote quality patient care. My philosophy of nursing extends to my community in which health promotion is something I will continually strive for.
Personal Philosophy of Nursing
For as long as I can remember I have been overwhelmed with a longing desire to care for those in need, and I feel this ultimately led me to the career choice of nursing. I feel most fulfilled when I am serving and caring for others, and my personal nursing attitude is one that is centered on compassion and service. According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary (2012), a philosophy is “an analysis of the grounds of and concepts expressing fundamental beliefs,” and before entering to the profession of nursing, it is important to explore my personal values and principles that will guide my nursing practice.
My philosophy of nursing incorporates the knowledge of medicine while combining it with relational, compassionate caring that respects the dignity of each patient. My philosophy is one that focuses on the empowerment each patient in the delivery of holistic nursing care. This paper will explore the values I feel are necessary in relating to patients as well as health professionals, my personal work culture, and society as a whole.
The Nature of Nursing
The nature of nursing is something that cannot be simplified to one word or phrase. Nursing is more than a profession; it is more than treating those who are ill, rather it is a model of care and service to others, and it is continually evolving. The nature of nursing revolves around commitment to public service and an undeniable desire to help those in need. It is my belief that crucial aspects of nursing include the prevention of illness, the treatment of the ill, and the promotion of health, as well as caring for clients.
Caring acknowledges what is important to the patient (Austgard, 2006), and I feel this shapes the delivery of nursing care. I believe to say that caring is not intertwined with nursing is to say that breathing has nothing to do with oxygen; for the two go hand and hand, and nursing would not be what it is without its aspect of caring, just like breathing would not be possible without oxygen. The nature of nursing should revolve around respect for each patient and reverence of human dignity.
The nature of nursing is also rooted in science and medical knowledge. It is the goal to prevent illness and treat those who are ill, and this requires a base level of medical knowledge to make nursing care possible. Since the medical field is something that is continually evolving, nurses must keep up to date with the current best practices and delivery of patient care. Nursing is a process that requires continual research and learning.
Nursing and Patient Care
In regards to nursing and patient care, my philosophy of nursing focuses on holistic, patient-centered care, as well as a caring and compassionate patient relationship. A holistic view of the patient allows the nurse to connect with patients on a relational level in which nurses get to understand the values of patients, and this kind of practice separates physician care from nursing care.
“Holism involves studying and understanding the interrelationships of the bio-psycho-social-spiritual dimensions of the person, recognizing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” (Dossey, 2010, p.14), meaning holistic nursing is not only concerned with a patient’s physical well being, but it also concerned with patient’s emotional, spiritual, and mental well being. Nurses, by nature are concerned with a patient’s comfort, for “comfort remains a substantive need throughout life and, as such, should be considered an indispensable constituent of holistic nursing care,” (Malinowski & Stamler, 2002).
Patients who feel comfortable cope better with their illness and have faster rates of healing then those patients who admit to being uncomfortable (Malinowski & Stamler, 2002) and as a nurse it is my goal to make sure my patient is physically comfortable as well as mentally and emotionally comfortable. It is my mission to make my care centered upon the patient’s needs and wishes. I believe it is important for patient’s to be informed and be active in their care, and I hope to have a collaborative relationship with my patients so that their needs and wants are met.
I want my personal nursing to revolve around building a trusting and caring relationship with patients because “to establish a trusting relationship is necessary in order to see the situation from the patient’s perspective and an absolute prerequisite for acknowledging and realizing a patient’s values,” (Austgard, 2006, p.16). I value what is important to each patient, and even if his or her wishes are something I personally disagree with, it is still my moral and ethical responsibility to treat the personal needs of my patient and work for the best possible outcome.
Nursing and Healthcare Professionals
Not only is nursing concerned with patient relationships, but also it involves relations with many other health care professionals as well, for nursing care could not be effective would not effective without the help of other health care professionals. In the past, health care relationships stemmed from the hierarchal basis, and communication took place on a vertical level, but with health care delivery evolving, interdisciplinary teamwork has become a prominent aspect in patient care. As a nurse, I desire to have an open, honest, and effective relationship with other health care professionals while keeping the patient’s needs and wishes as the driving force for care.
Communication is a key element in any relationship and it is essential in the health care relationships. Interprofessional collaborative practice has shown to improve patient outcomes and retention of medical staff (Wood, Flavell, Vanstolk, Bainbridge, & Nasmith, 2009), thus collaboration is something I feel is critical for my nursing practice. I would like for my relationship with other health care professionals to be one of collaboration, rather than competition.
“Health professionals must be able to work in collaborative practice models such as interprofessional teams in order to ensure consistent, continuous and reliable care,” (Wood et al., 2009) and this supports the notion that interprofessional teamwork in nursing care is essential for the best patient care. I feel that effective patient care and positive patient outcomes should be the driving force behind interprofessional health care relationships.
Nursing and the Work Culture
A work culture is the attitude and personality of a hospital unit, and I feel that a work culture can significantly influence patient care delivery. My preferred work culture would be one consisting of interprofessional collaboration, open communication, and positive attitudes. Teamwork is an essential component of nursing, and I would like to work on a unit in which teamwork is valued and put into practice.
Communication is critical for a positive work culture, and I personally would like a culture in which the opinion of the staff is encouraged and valued. It is my philosophy that a positive work culture will positively affect patient moral, and this contributes to better patient outcomes. Nursing and the Environment and Society
As a nurse, I feel as though my responsibility to the health and safety of others goes farther than the hospital of clinic I work in. “Nursing has a disciplinary goal to contribute to the health of individuals and the overall health of society,” (McCurry, Revell & Roy, 2009) and I believe nurses are obligated to promote health in their communities and nationwide. Since my philosophy of nursing is more than a profession and that is something that is focused on the commitment to public service, it would be unethical for me to ignore the health care needs of my community.
As a nurse, it is very important that I aid in addressing the healthcare needs of my personal community and environment as well as society as a whole. I feel as though it is my duty and responsibility to take an active role in healthcare issues among the country, including issues such as smoking cessation and primary prevention of health care. I personally would like to be a resource for my environment and take a role in health promotion throughout society.
Nurses across the nation should take and active role in promoting health across the nation in working for the safety of all individuals. Not only do I feel as though it is important to focus on my community, but I also feel responsible for helping those who have limited healthcare access, especially those in underprivileged areas of the world. I desire to take part in medical trips oversees to promote health education and wellness in areas where this information is limited.
Vision of Personal Nursing Practice
My vision for nursing practice focuses on what is doing what is most beneficial to my patient. I hope to build caring, trusting relationships with my patients as well as play a positive role in their health outcome. No two patients will ever be the same, and my vision is to individualize care for each of my patients so their personal, emotional, and physical needs can be met. I always want to value each patient as an individual and respect his or her needs and dignity.
My goal is to empower each patient to be active in their care in hopes of improving patient outcomes. Personally, I would like to continue to practice nursing care that is congruent with the best evidence to date, and continue to research and discover better ways of doing things. My vision of my nursing practice is to deliver quality and reliable patient care while promoting health in my community.
Through this philosophy paper, I have explored what nursing truly means to me, and have become more aware of principles I value for clinical practice. I value holistic nursing and want to value each patient as an individual with varying needs. Respect for every patient is essential in preserving a patient’s dignity.
My goal is for the patient to always be the focus of care and to make sure the patient’s values are understood. Interprofessional collaboration is an aspect I hope to implement in my nursing practice in order to better serve my patients. I desire to work in a healthy working environment in which open communication is encouraged. Nursing is something I plan to extend beyond the hospital in an effort to improve the health of my community and the country as a whole. This information and these personal values will serve as a guide for my personal standards of nursing practice.