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Philosophy of Nursing

Every nurse holds her own personal views and beliefs about nursing. These views and beliefs encompass the nurse’s personal nursing philosophy. The nurse may find that her philosophy changes as her practice continues to grow over time.

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My philosophy as a new graduate nurse twelve years ago is much different from my philosophy today. I attribute this life experiences and to the growth I have experienced as both a person and a nurse.

My personal definition of nursing is based on the nurse being a loving, compassionate, dependable, competent, responsible, comforting and passionate person. A nurse not only cares for her patient’s physical ailments but cares for the whole person and family unit. Nurses promote both physical and emotional well-being. Nurses should be able to recognize cultural differences and advocate for patients in a non-judgmental manner. Nursing is centered on health both good and bad. Nurses often find patients in poor health and work to assist them back to their normal health state.

Often times, it is not realistic for patients to be able to return to their previous state of health. In this case nurses help patients adapt to their illness and lead productive lives despite managing chronic illness. Nursing not only consists of health promotion but also of illness prevention. Health promotion includes prevention of illness and also improving patient’s overall well-being. Nola Pender is a pioneer in health promotion and as a nurse I use her Health Promotion Model as a guide in my current nursing practice.

To consider one’s philosophy of nursing, one inevitably considers our beliefs about man. I believe man exists as a unique and holistic individual within a culturally diverse society. In my culture, man is expected to be self-reliant and responsible for himself and his family. Self-reliance is attained by the ability to provide self-care. Self-care is the ability to provide for one’s own basic needs. If self-care is not maintained, illness/death may occur. My culture, like many others, considers the sick worthy of assistance.

As nurses, it is our responsibility to offer assistance in bringing people back to their normal state of health if possible. Nurses do this by intervening in a manner that is acceptable to patients while also recognizing that patients have certain rights to refuse the care offered to them. It is important for nurses to recognize the many different reasons patients may not accept the care they are offering. Nurses should be non-judgmental and recognize cultural differences so that they may provide culturally competent care