Philosophy and Theory in APN Practice
McNeese State University
Nursing is a unique discipline that calls for a special type of person to give compassionate care. Nursing utilizes the nursing process of assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation for the purpose of improving the patient’s health. As the nurse increases her experience and advances her education, the ideas of philosophy and applying theory to practice become more relevant. Philosophy of nursing is the application of beliefs to situations and guides the nurse in every day patient care (Alligood & Tomey, 2010). Butts and Rich (2011) state that philosophy is the “way one views the world” and “the viewpoint the nurse utilizes in every encounter with a patient, family, or group” (p. 3). Nursing theory is a tool for reasoning, thinking critically, and making decisions in nursing practice to provide quality care. “Nurses who use theory to structure their practice improve the quality of care as they sort patient data quickly, decide on the nursing action needed, and deliver care with an expectation of the outcome” (Alligood & Tomey, 2010, p. 13). While technical step by step processes and skills are important, we must attempt to understand why the process is important and how can we improve the way we do things. The following will be an exploration of my philosophy of nursing, how I obtained that philosophy, and the theory that has influenced me the most and that will guide me as an advanced nurse practitioner (APN).
My personal philosophy that will guide me as an advanced practice nurse involves the realms of the individual, environment, health, and nursing. The individual is the primary person being cared for. His or her physical, spiritual, emotional, and psychological needs are to be evaluated and cared for. The environment encompasses everything that comes into contact with the patient. This may include the physical and emotional environment. Family, friends, and the community are also part of the patient’s environment. Health is how the patient defines health
or himself. His or her personal beliefs about quality of health and goals he or she may have are more important than what the APN may have for the patient. Nursing is the care given to the patient. Health-promoting and disease preventing behaviors must be encouraged for the patient and family. I believe if the individual is in a healthy environment, he is more apt to develop healthy behaviors. Using the concepts of the individual, environment, health, and nursing, I will address the client’s needs holistically in order to promote and achieve better health. I will set aside any preconceived notions about what health should be and acknowledge the goals that the patient has for himself. I will do my best to foster healthy behaviors and help the patient find ways to achieve his goals. I will encourage the family and/or support systems to be involved in patient care. I understand that developing a good rapport with the individual and family will likely have a positive effect on the healing process. I will attempt to develop this rapport and be nonjudgmental when one’s values and cultures are different from my own. I will put my heart in to developing a caring relationship with the patient and family. I will assist the client in identifying stressors that may negatively impact the patient. This will be one of my main priorities. I will educate, listen to, learn from, and care for the client as best as I possibly can. I will also evaluate the client to determine if needs have been met or if any other issues need to be addressed. I will pray internally for the healing of my patients and always keep in mind that God is all powerful.
Plans for the Future
I hope to be able to utilize my philosophy of nursing in caring for the medically underserved community at the...
References: Alligood, M. R. & Tomey, A. M. (2010). Nursing theorists and their work (7th ed.). Maryland
Heights, MO: Elsevier.
Butts, J. B. & Rich, K. L. (2011). Philosophies and theories for advanced nursing practice.
Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning
Moorman, S. (2010). Surviving life-threatening illness: Keys to optimal nursing care. Journal of
Christian Nursing, 27 (1), 18-24
Sumner, J. F. (2004). Caring--The foundation of advanced practice nursing. Topics in Advanced
Practice Nursing eJournal, 4 (4)
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