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Lauren Cunningham

Personal Philosophy Paper


Philosophies of nursing are the basis for nursing practice. They are
based on beliefs about nursing, as well as expression of values. Today, I am
going to go more in depth on what a philosophy of nursing is. In addition, I
am going to develop and discuss my personal philosophy and how it relates
to nursing, its values and beliefs.
Chitty and Black (2011) define philosophies of nursing as statements of
beliefs about nursing and expressions of values in nursing that are used as
the basis for thinking and acting. They are comprised of four additional
concepts: foundations of beliefs about people, environment, health, and
nursing (p. 298). Within the nursing profession there are two types of
philosophies that make up the nursing profession. These two types are
individual philosophies (these are developed by the nurse themselves) and
collective philosophies (developed by schools, hospitals, or medical
systems). These philosophies have created a backbone for the standards of
care in nursing. They are important, because the ultimate goal in nursing is
to achieve health at the highest level possible. In order to do this, people
have come up with either individual or collective philosophies that they
believe to be a theory on how to care for someone at the optimum level.

A belief can be defined as the intellectual acceptance of something as

true or correct. These are things that are usually passed down from one
family member to another, and they are usually resistant to change. An
example of a belief could be whether or not you believe that it is okay for
people to have abortions. A value can be defined as a freely chosen
principle, ideal, or standard held by an individual, class or group that give
meaning and direction to life. Values are also resistant to change (Chitty &
Black, 2011, p. 293). An example of a value could be kindness, flexibility, or
empathy. Because beliefs are demonstrated through attitudes and
behaviors, a huge belief for me is that every nurse should have a
nonjudgmental attitude. This is immensely important for me; because in the
nursing field we are going to experience many different situations and
diverse patients, so the more open-minded we are then the better care the
patient will get, in my opinion. Another belief I have is that the patient
always has the right to refuse treatment, in other words, exercise his/her
autonomy. I do not think that it is fair for someone to feel pressured because
of a nurse or doctor, and I believe that each patient has the right to choose
which kind of treatment they may or may not want. I believe that under
certain circumstances abortion is okay (i.e. rape or incest), but the majority
of the time I believe it to be wrong. Some values that I find to be important
are compassion, health promotion, holistic care, humanness, altruism,
empathy, and ethical conduct (Chitty & Black, 2011, p. 293).

A philosophy of nursing that really stood out to me when we were

going through all the different philosophies was from Jean Watson. Watsons
philosophy of nursing is described as creating an environment of trust,
understanding, and openness so that the patient and the nurse can work
together to meet their needs (Chitty & Black, 2011, p. 305). I chose nursing
as my career, because I wanted to help other people and, as clich as it
sounds, make a difference in peoples lives. I think that the core of nursing is
providing exceptional care and providing the patients with empathy and
compassion. My personal vision as a nurse is based off of Jean Watsons
philosophy and is to create a relationship of trust, understanding, and
openness with each patient. I want each patient to have an individual
experience where they feel that each visit is unique and they are receiving
the highest level of care.
This personal philosophy will create a guideline for my education and
practice as a nurse by grounding me with these values and beliefs. I will
treat each patient with respect, and a nonjudgmental attitude. As their
nurse, we will work to create a relationship that is trusting, understanding,
and open so we are able to meet the patients goals and needs. This
philosophy creates a basis for me to begin my nursing career, it provides a
framework for my nursing philosophy and along the way, I can make
changes to accommodate my continual growth as an individual and nurse.

Chitty, K., & Black, B. (2011). Professional nursing: Concepts and challenges
(6th ed.). Maryland Heights, MO: Saunders.