A Philosophy of Nursing

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A Philosophy of Nursing
Megan Cole, RN
Georgia Southern University

NURS 3139
Fall 2012


A Philosophy of Nursing
The American Nurse’s Association’s Nursing’s Social Policy Statement (2003) defines nursing as the “protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and population” (p. 6). Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary (2012) defines philosophy as “the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or group.” It follows then that a philosophy of nursing is the set of beliefs, concepts and attitudes that guides the promotion, protection, and restoration of health and abilities of individuals and groups of individuals. Traditionally, nursing philosophy is described using a meta-paradigm of four concepts – human being or person, environment, health, and nursing. Beliefs and attitudes about these guiding concepts are widely shared, but also deeply influenced by the personal experiences and values of the individual nurse. The Human Being

Human beings are highly evolved and exquisitely complex systems. They involve not only an outwardly obvious physical form, the body, but also the mind and spirit, less clearly defined subjects. Body, mind, and spirit can theoretically be separated into parts, and each of those parts further separated for the purposes of study or description, yet they are intimately connected for all practical purposes. The interplay between the three is constant, and what affects one, affects the others.

Just as each individual person has theoretically separate components, all humans though separate individuals are likewise connected into a unified whole otherwise known as humanity. Recent research...
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