Definition of Nursing
Topics: Nursing, Nursing theory, Nursing practice / Pages: 5 (1150 words) / Published: Jul 15th, 2013

Definition of Nursing “Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through diagnosis and treatment of human responses, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations,” defines the American Nurses Association (ANA, 2003, p. 6). The six main features of nursing are: provision of caring relationship to promote health; the different human experiences and responses to health and illnesses; assessment of data and knowledge to understand each age group; application of knowledge, judgment, and critical thinking to diagnosis and treatment; advancement of professional nursing knowledge; influences on social and public policy to promote social justice; and the assurance of safe, quality, and evidence based practice (ANA, 2010, p. 9). Discussed will be the definitions and examples of human responses, nursing application, nursing actions, and nursing outcomes.
Human Responses
According to the ANA (2010), a human response is defined as, “the responses of individuals to actual or potential health problems, and which are the phenomena of concern to nurses” (p. 10). Human responses are basically the problems that nurses want to work on or solve. “Human responses include any observable need, concern, condition, event or fact of interest to nurses that may be the target of evidence-based nursing practice,” states the ANA (2010, p. 10). Human responses are the target of evidence-based practice in relation to birth, health, illness, and death (ANA, 2003, p.71). An example is the care processes, which is seen in a patient who is unable to care for themselves where the nurse assumes this role to care for the patient (ANA, 2003, p.71). Another example is physiological and pathophysiological processes such as respiration, circulation, and elimination (ANA, 2003, p. 71). Research is continuously investigating the best practice in caring for the body’s



References: American Nurses Association (2010). Nursing’s social policy statement (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author. American Nurses Association (2003). Nursing’s social policy statement (2nd ed.). Silver Springs, MD: Author. Cherry, B. & Jacobs, S. (2011). Contemporary nursing: Issues, trends, management (5th ed.). St. Louis: Elsevier.

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