Personal Philosophy of Nursing
Nursing practice has been integrated into every life facet throughout history’s recorded pages. Puah and Shiphrah are two midwives who initiated the legacy of caring when they rescued and saved baby Moses’ life, as recorded in the book of Exodus (Holy Bible, New International Version, 2011). The caring legacy has progressed over the years, responding to society’s physiological, environmental, psychological, and social needs.
The nursing profession has struggled to be recognized as knowledgeable practice or profession. The struggle is reflected in the economic, environmental, political, and cultural events sculpted in our world’s and nation’s history (Cherry & Jacob, 2019). Today, nurses continue to challenge themselves to expand novel leadership and practice roles. To succeed in this endeavor, one must possess a personal nursing philosophy. One’s philosophy influences decision-making and thinking systems, core values, mission, and vision statements.
In this paper, I provide a glimpse of my nursing philosophy, focusing on my central belief about the person, the influence of my worldview on patient approach, the constitutes of the environment, and how individuals and the environment interact. Additionally, I will reflect on my view on health, how the illness relates to health, and the central reason for nursing existence.
Central Beliefs About the Individual Person
In my view, every person has unlimited potential. This potential matches the beliefs one possesses and the view they have about themselves. All people are authentic and valuable and must be treated with utmost and unconditional love and respect regardless of their ethnic, racial, or religious backgrounds. Treating each other well and respectfully makes us more worthy and authentic human beings, inspiring interpersonal relationships with great potential for responding to a diverse and myriad of human needs.
Therefore, I submit that all people must be respected and treated as they are, despite our obvious or subtle differences. Individuals aspire to acquire health, a state of physical, social, and mental well-being that does not merely imply the absence of disease.
How my Worldview Influences my Approach to Patients
Worldview refers to one’s assumptions and beliefs that explain existence. These assumptions are primarily implicit and deeply embedded in one’s socialization. Spronk et al. (2021) assert that worldviews play implicit and explicit roles, particularly when facing moral case deliberations when healthcare professionals face ethical dilemmas that cause significant distress if not adequately addressed.
Healthcare providers interact with culturally diverse people that desire to be treated with respect. My worldview has been influenced by the cultural, spiritual, and religious interactions I have experienced. I believe in God, the supreme creator who placed us in this world to fulfill particular missions and purposes. God calls us to do good, care for, treat others well, and love everyone. My cultural raising has taught me to respect everyone, embrace peace, and help others.
Therefore, my worldview enables me to respond to the diverse needs of my clients, aspiring to alleviate their suffering, enhance their overall well-being and quality of life, and respond to their unique and holistic wants. Furthermore, it has helped me to be diligent, cautious, professional, and committed to my work, fostering empathy in my interactions with patients to understand their life experiences better and adequately address them.
The environment refers to the circumstances or conditions that surround an individual. These conditions directly influence one’s health and well-being. In health, constituents of the environment include the physical, social, and cultural factors. These are all prerequisites to optimal health. The physical environment comprises elements such as clean water, hygiene and sanitation facilities, infrastructure, and all natural resources providing our basic needs.
Factors in the cultural environment include aesthetics, religion, traditions, attitudes, social regulations, morals, and values instilled in a person as they grow within a particular community. These factors influence one’s perception of health, decisions, health-seeking behaviors, and overall health status.
How the Individual and Environment Interact
Individuals must interact with the environment to satisfy their wants. To ensure optimal health status, there must be a congruence between a person’s demands and the environmental provisions. People interact with the environment by depending on the latter for natural resources from which they savor limitless potentials, ranging from food to medicinal products. People also adapt to unfavorable environmental conditions, explore healthy coping mechanisms to fulfill their needs, and continue enjoying optimal health.
View of Health
Health refers to the social, mental, and physical well-being allowing people to live their lives to the fullest. The World Health Organization (2022) asserts that one of the most fundamental human rights for all people is enjoying the highest attainable health standards without political, social, economic, religious, or racial discrimination. Moreover, optimal health status does not imply the absence of disease. One should be functioning well in all human and environmental aspects.
Furthermore, I view health as a continuum, not a state. As a continuum, people’s wellness is illustrated in a graphical demonstration. In the continuum, people’s health changes from wellness, progress to normal or good health, after which illnesses occur, which one may recover from, developmental disabilities, or in the worst-case scenarios, die. People desire to achieve wellness, awareness, and overall growth.
How Illness Relates to Health
Health and illness are on the ends of the health-illness continuum. Illness refers to changes in a person in harmony with their surroundings, causing alterations in one’s functionality (Rovesti et al., 2018). Therefore, as people experience changes in their normal environmental functionality (physical, social, cultural), they start progressing from health status to illness. People place strategies for health promotion and disease prevention to avoid illnesses and continue living optimally.
How Nursing Leaders Should Treat Others
Nurses should provide care professionally and competently to promote human flourishing. Garmy and Forsberg (2020) define flourishing as helping people maximize their life experiences by establishing beneficial relationships and helping them achieve their development and all-around growth potential.
Human flourishing is associated with increased self-awareness, purpose and meaning in life, and positive emotions. To promote human flourishing, nursing leaders should be diligent in their duties, possess fundamental core values, treat others with unconditional love and respect, display empathy, and establish therapeutic relationships with their clients.
Central Reason for Nursing Existence
The major reason for the existence of nursing is to respond to the diverse health needs of the population. Nursing focuses on enhancing patients’ spiritual, physical, social, and emotional dimensions. Nurses work tirelessly and selflessly to prevent illnesses, promote health, and care for the disabled and sick. Therefore, we can view nursing as the glue holding a person’s health together.
This paper has provided a deeper insight into my philosophy of nursing. Philosophy is an integral component of one’s career, enabling one to achieve their goals and provide safe, optimal, effective, and high-quality patient care. Consequently, this enhances patient outcomes and professional satisfaction.
Cherry, B., & Jacob, S. R. (2019). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, & management (8th ed.). Mosby.
Garmy, P., & Forsberg, A. (2020). The Career Core of Successful Scientific Leaders in Nursing – Their Motivators and Strategies. Journal of Healthcare Leadership, Volume 12, 49–57. https://doi.org/10.2147/jhl.s255093
Holy Bible, New International Version. (2011). The Holy Bible NIV – – Bible Gateway. Www.biblegateway.com. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=James%202%3A26&version=NIV
Rovesti, M., Fioranelli, M., Petrelli, P., Satolli, F., Roccia, M. G., Gianfaldoni, S., Tchernev, G., Wollina, U., Lotti, J., Feliciani, C., & Lotti, T. (2018). Health and Illness in History, Science and Society. Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences, 6(1), 163–165. https://doi.org/10.3889/oamjms.2018.056
Spronk, B., Widdershoven, G., & Alma, H. (2021). The Role of Worldview in Moral Case Deliberation: Visions and Experiences of Group Facilitators. Journal of Religion and Health. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10943-021-01246-1
World Health Organization. (2022). Constitution of the World Health Organization. WHO; WHO. https://www.who.int/about/governance/constitution