Understanding the Philosophy of Nursing

Every nurse should have a philosophy of nursing. It is one of the essential ingredients to success. Not only will it help you deliver the best but also set an example for others.

So what is the nursing philosophy? It is a written statement that states a nurse's beliefs and ethics on how they handle patients. Although it is for academic purposes, it is crucial to be ethical in your profession. It benefits the lives of your patients and their families.

Importance of a Personal Philosophy of Nursing for Practicing Nurses

Nurses must overcome a wide range of demands to offer world-class care. These demands include long working hours and physically and emotionally challenging jobs. Developing a personal philosophy of nursing and revisiting it helps you overcome these challenges by reminding you of your core values.

Writing a Personal Philosophy of Nursing

Thompson, 2016 defines a personal philosophy of nursing as a search for the truth or meaning. To find what is important to you at the moment here are steps to articulate your nursing philosophy.

Step 1

Reflect on your nursing practice. Ensure you allocate time and schedule it on your calendar.

Step 2

Think about your professional practice and write down your real experiences with patients and their families. You could also write about your interactions with your colleagues.

Write as many experiences as possible. Don't just write about those experiences that stood out for you. Write down as many details as you can remember such as what you did, said, asked, how you felt about the situation and much more.

Step 3

Examine all critical narratives critically. Hernadez, 2009 advises students writing nursing philosophy paper to focus on one sentence at a time. It enables you to reflect on beliefs, values, and assumptions (BAVs) about the nursing meta-paradigm concepts represented in each sentence.

Step 4

Once you have identified your BAVs from your narrative, look at the whole data. Then group BAVs for each nursing meta-paradigm concept together. This gives you an insight into your nursing philosophy. Your Why, How and What will be evident.

How to formulate this as a new student

Even if you are a student with no clinical experience, you can still use core values that are important to you.

You can highlight your assumptions about nursing, person, health, and the environment. Think about what values a nurse should have. How should they relate to people? What is the role of a nurse as far as meta-paradigm concepts are considered?

Step 5

Reflect on your BAVs and construct a personal philosophy statement. Summarize the main ideas and then bring them together into one coherent statement. Your philosophy statement should capture information about the four nursing meta-paradigm concepts.

Make sure you are concise; one or two paragraphs at most. Also, follow your instructor's instructions as you write your nursing philosophy paper.

It is worth noting that a personal philosophy changes over the years. It begins the day you start thinking about it and seeing yourself as a nurse. It will change gradually as you grow professionally and understand different worldviews. You can keep all copies of your drafts to see how you have grown both personally and as a nurse.

Learning from Nursing Philosophy Examples

You may also want to read the following nursing philosophy examples and see how different nurses formulate theirs.

Cecelia Baxter says her nursing philosophy examples address four main things; environment, society, patients and the relationship between person, community, and the environment.

Megan McGaham defines her philosophy as one committed to public service and helping the vulnerable. She goes ahead to explain that nursing is more than treating a disease. It is providing quality and individualized care to all patients.

Joanne de Guia-Rayos says that collaboration and teamwork are essential as far as patients' welfare is concerned.

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