You are on page 1of 6

Philosophy of Nursing

Morgan Donnellan
James Madison University

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING

A moms job is to take care of her children. A cooks job is to prepare meals. A mailmans
job is to deliver mail. A teacher, simply put, teaches their students. Most job descriptions are cut
and dry with little thought going into what the job entails. Often, a general consensus on a single
definition comes about. Although there may be slight differences, overall, defining a job is easy,
simple. So why isnt this the case with nursing? Why do people hesitate, or muse over the best
way to describe a nurse? Simply put, no nurse is the same. Nurses evolve within their roles and
are constantly changing, as is the profession. Nurses have the ability to concentrate into specific
areaspediatrics, oncology, geriatrics, ICUto name a few. So, when someone goes about
trying to define nursing, there are so many aspects to consider putting into one basic definition.
Because of this, many definitions are unable to capture the exact nature of nursing. However, this
definition by the American Nurses Association, or ANA, I find comes pretty close to grasping the
large scope of nursing, and it states:
Nursing is 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 populations (ANA, 2014).
This is one of the better definitions because instead on confining nursing into one category it
encompasses nursing as a whole. In this definition we are able to see how complex a nurses job
really is, especially since from day to day a single nurses job can changetoday a nurse could
be taking care of ten patients with life-threatening conditions and tomorrow that same nurse
could be taking care of ten newborns. Also, nursing is often seen as a profession that provides
care; when in reality nurses not only take care of the ill but also are constantly ensuring the
safety of their patients.

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING

The nursing metaparadigm consists of 4 areasperson, environment, health and nursing. All
areas are equally important, however I see myself performing the health aspect the most. The
ultimate end goal of nursing is to improve health or wellness and diminish illness to the best of
our abilities. Health promotion is a set feature in nursing because, although nursing is such a
wide encompassing profession, it will always focus on the health of the patient. As Hinkle and
Cheever stated, all nursing care is directed toward promoting, maintaining, and restoring
health. By focusing in on this, I can keep my patients balancedwith regards to their
homeostasis, instill soundness, and ensure the patients overall wellness. Nurses as a population
represents the largest professional group in health care and because of that it is our
responsibility to constantly promote and advocate for the health of the patient (Brobeck, 2013).
In order to discuss health promotion practices with patients, nurses need to build a relationship
with them to know how best to teach the patient. However, this is hard sometimes since nurses
are not allocated large amounts of time with each patient. This is why I see the health portion of
the metaparadigm as so important. You can only do so much for a patient when they are in the
health care facility. Once they leave, the nurse needs to have confidence in that they have
educated the patient enough; they need to understand not only what health issues they have, but
also the treatments and preventative measures needed to properly take care of it.
Within the JMU Undergraduate Nursing Curricular Model I see myself performing within
the meso system, because as a nurse I will be overseeing several different people each day, week,
month, year; each of which will have different conditions and situations that have to be properly
evaluated. I find it important that each individual is treated just as that, an individual. I cannot
form biases or come to conclusions on any of these patients because not only will that affect my
abilities to take care of them to the best of my abilities, but also prevent the patient from

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING

achieving optimal care that they have a right to. In the United States there is such a great amount
of diversity in culture, religion, ethics that it is important for nurses to understand that we will
clash with our patients in these aspects. However, we cannot let these differences affect the
quality of our care. We should not allow for any tolerance of disrespect or discrimination towards
any patientno matter their background or present situation. As a nurse, I find it important to
understand that these issues that arise from differing backgrounds are many-faceted, contextual
and reciprocal and that patient isnt the solely responsible for these conflicts but share it
equally withthe patient and/or the family (Hoye, 2010). By understanding that a patient is
not wrong because of their differing beliefs, I can perform better care of the patient. These
problems do not only affect the nurse but also the patient because they need care performed
within their comfort and it is our job to ensure they get the proper treatment.
At this moment, I see myself pursuing a career in pediatrics. Im especially interested in
pediatric diabetes because I feel responsibility in reversing this fast increasing percentage of
children with type 2 diabetes; along with the amount of obese children in America. It is our job
as adults to help and protect these innocent children from developing preventable life-threatening
conditions; and I feel that as a nurse I have an even greater responsibility in ensuring a healthier
future for them. I found the best practice for injection technique in children to be extremely
important. Children that are diagnosed with diabetes at such a young age can develop anxiety
and fear with diabetes, making proper care and treatment even more important. As a nurse it
would be my job to educate them on avoiding needle reuse, injection into small injection zones
and failure to rotate sites on a regular basis (Gelder, 2014). In doing so, diabetic children will
lower their chances of developing lipohypertrophy and decrease the number of acute hospital

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING

stays as a result of hypoglycaemia, diabetic ketoacidosis anddiabetes-associated


complications (Gelder, 2014).
I do not have a set track for where I want to take my nursing career, but as I stated
previously Im interested in pursuing a career in pediatrics or pediatric diabetes. My interest
probably comes from being surrounded by friends and family that developed diabetes and felt
trapped and scared by this disease. I also am interested in traveling to under-developed countries
and caring for those that cannot afford the luxuries in health care that so many of us in the United
States take for granted. I want to be able to say that I have made a difference in even just one
persons life after a day of work. I believe that nursing can be an extremely challenging and
draining career, but for those passionate enough it can be abundantly rewarding.

PHILOSOPHY OF NURSING

6
References

ANA (2014). What is nursing? The american nurses association, inc. Retrieved, from
http://www.nursingworld.org/EspeciallyForYou/What-is-Nursing.
Brobeck, E. E., Odencrants, S. S., Bergh, H. H., & Hildingh, C. C. (2013). Health promotion
practice and its implementation in Swedish health care. International Nursing Review,
60(3), 374-380. doi:10.1111/inr.12041
Gelder, C. (2014). Best practice injection technique for children and young people with diabetes.
Nursing Children & Young People, 26(7), 32-36. doi:10.7748/ncyp.26.7.32.e458
Hinkle, J. L. & Cheever K.H. (2014). Health education and health promotion. Brunner &
suddarths textbook of medical-surgical nursing (p.43). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins.
Hoye, S., & Severinsson, E. (2010). Professional and cultural conflicts for intensive care nurses.
Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 66(4), 858-867. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2009.05247.x