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Philosophy of Nursing
Andrea S. Pratt
University of Saint Mary


Philosophy of Nursing

The philosophy of nursing is an expansive subject encompassing several aspects of

nursing. The more articles I read, the more I understand the variety of components involved in
the philosophy of nursing. It is far reaching and varied according to each person's view.
According to Green (2009), the persons are related to themselves, other persons, and the
world even the universe at large. The metaparadigm includes person as physical, intellectual,
bio-chemical, and psychological needs; a human energy field; a holistic being in the world; an
open system; an integrated whole; an adaptive system; and a being who is greater than the sum
of his or her parts (McEwen & Wills, 2011). I have noted that the family and community are
very important aspects of the person, too. All are intertwined into the fabric of the person.
Health is another metaparadigm of nursing. According to McEwen et al. (2011), health
is the ability to function independently; successful adaptation to life's stressors; achievement of
one's full life potential; and unity of mind, body, and soul. Another definition of health is
associated with the relative absence of disease but can still be fully experienced in states of
disability or chronic illness (Meehan, 2012). I believe that each person can function to the
fullest of their ability whether independent or dependent on others for their full care and be
considered having their health. Meehan (2012) states that the timeless interweaving of
spirituality, nursing, and health in human life processes gives perspective to the resurgent desire
of many nurses to include spiritual care in their practice. I have always included spiritual care
in my practice as an essential part which contributes to the health of those being assisted.
Environment is another metaparadigm of nursing. This is referred to as the external
elements that affect the person; internal and external conditions that influence the organism;
significant others with whom the person interacts; and an open system with boundaries that

permit the exchange of matter, energy, and information with human beings (McEwen et al.
2011). I feel the environment around us and those we care for is very important. Changes are
being made to a more home like environment to make people more comfortable in their
surroundings regardless of what their level of functioning is.
Nursing is the last metaparadigm of nursing. McEwen et al. (2011) defines nursing as a
science, an art, and a practice discipline and involves caring. Most of us went into the nursing
profession to care for people, serve others, and make someone else feel better. I know I put
every effort forth to provide care in a holistic manner to everyone involved. Spirituality and
caring together was able to provide caring with a scared reverent to reclaim the ideas of religious
ethics and some without the religious label (Pesut, 2013). Thus, nursing includes several
dynamics to function and do the work that nursing was designed to do.
The provisions of ethics are intertwined with day to day nursing. I try to practice within
the code of ethics at work and out in the community. I believe we are an extension of our
profession in nursing wherever we go. This makes it easy to stay within the law, be respectful of
all, be an advocate, and continue learning daily in our jobs and our lives, and striving to maintain
the code of ethics in which we function daily. As I practice nursing, I teach as I work with others
and learn from them at the same time. With multiple levels of caregivers, I feel it is important to
treat everyone with respect regardless of education and work together. I have told those I work
with that I would not ask them to do something that I myself would not do. This has gone a long
way to developing a strong working relationship and a strong team. I have been told that I have
an excellent bedside manner and am approachable. I was surprised that others are observing me
when I work. So, it has made me more aware than ever of my actions, interactions, and care.



American Nurses Association. Guide to the code of ethics for nurses: Interpretation and
application. Baltimore, Md.: United Book Press, Inc., 2010.
Green, C. (2009). A comprehensive theory of the human person from philosophy and nursing.
Nursing Philosophy, 10: 263-274.
McEwen, M. & Willis, E. M. (2011). Theoretical basis for nursing (4th ed.). Philadelphia:
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Meehan, T. C. (2012). Spirituality and spiritual care for a careful nursing perspective. Journal
of Nursing Management, 20: 990-1001. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2012.01462.x
Pesut, B. (2012). Nursings' need for the idea of spirituality. Nursing Inquiry, 20 (1): 5-10.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1800.2012.00608.x