Philosophy of Nursing

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Philosophy of Professional Nursing

Each person may have an individual perspective about nursing. For professional nurses, interactions within their careers lead to the development of different philosophies and theories of nursing. As they build experience, knowledge may reshape these theories based on different situations they have encountered. The responsibility of a nurse is not limited to simply attending to patients at the bedside. Nurses not only provide comfort care, but must educate, communicate, and improve the health status of the patients and families with whom they work.

Florence Nightingale was one of the first nurses to educate her patients on the environment and its effects on the body (Perry & Potter, 2009). She promoted proper hygiene and nutrition as well as manipulating the environment to provide adequate warmth and air (Perry & Potter, 2009). Throughout her practice, she developed her “descriptive theory,” instructing nurses to work for the patient rather than themselves (Perry & Potter, 2009). Nightingale’s emphasis on sanitary education in the hospital and its surroundings relates to my philosophy by expressing the importance of educating patients about their environment. While nurses educate patients on many different subjects, educating cleanliness patterns is crucial for disease prevention and restoration of health.

In order to successfully help patients, it is vital to communicate efficiently about their health status. Communication is necessary in gathering information about the patient as well as delivering statements about the patient’s present health. Imogene King drew from her conceptual systems theory and developed a middle range theory known as goal attainment (Killeen, 2007). In her theory of goal attainment, King stressed the importance of interaction and communication with the patient as a means for, shall I say, attaining goals (Killeen, 2007). She believed the best way to provide proper health care services...
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