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What Nursing Means to Me Caitlyn E. Cannone The University of New Hampshire


Nursing is more than just a profession that I chose. Nursing is the lifestyle, which I chose for myself. There are many characteristics a nurse must possess in order to be sufficient at his or her job. In the following pages, I will discuss my philosophy of nursing. It will include what a nurse should do and what a nurse should not do. It will also include some of the many characteristics that a nurse should possess. Key words: nursing, philosophy, art, science

WHAT NURSING IS TO ME What Nursing Means to Me Nursing is both an art and a science. It combines both precise knowledge and a

caring and compassionate character. A nurse cannot simply be sufficient in either the art of nursing or the science of nursing. Instead, the nurse must be sufficient in both. A nurse that only possesses clinical knowledge does not have the love and genuine concern for a patient that will allow a trusting relationship to grow between the nurse and the patient. A positive relationship between the patient and the nurse is vital. The nurse must prove that he or she has the patients best interest at heart and maintain the ethical principle of beneficence. Many of my thoughts on nursing, seem to coincide with the nursing theory proposed by Jean Watson. The nursing theory of Jean Watson centers on the care that a nurse gives to his or her patients. The Nursing Theory website wrote that according to Watson (2011), Caring is central to nursing practice, and promotes health better than a simple medical cure. She believes that a holistic approach to health care is central to the practice of caring in nursing. I believe that it is absolutely necessary for a nurse to give his or her patients appropriate and genuine care. It is the basis of the nurse- patient relationship. Watson wrote (2012), Transpersonal caring seeks to connect with and embrace the spirit or soul of the other through the processes of caring and healing and being in authentic relation, in the moment (p. 1). I completely agree with this statement and believe that it is essential for the nurse to give the patient his or her undivided attention when providing care and allow the patient to feel like the only one that matters for that moment in time.


The responsibilities of a nurse are plentiful. Nurses must always maintain patient privacy and never compromise the safety of the patient. This includes safely administering medications, following all protocol during procedures, and maintaining aseptic technique when appropriate, and proper hygiene at all times. A nurse is responsible for keeping the patient as comfortable as possible and for providing the best possible care, which allows the patient to regain his or her health as quickly as possible. The main goal of a nurse should always be to help his or her patients regain a healthy status. All treatment should be aimed towards the well being of the patient to enable the body to heal. A nurse must always be there to listen to the patient. The patient knows his or her body better than any doctor or nurse. When a patient is in pain, a nurse must believe him or her and administer pain meds. If the patient refuses a medication, then this is his or her choice based on the principle of autonomy. A nurse must also advocate for the patient. A patients wishes come before the wishes of any doctor, nurse, or family member. A nurse must be able to multi- task, remain organized, and collaborate with other members of the medical team. As I gain experience in the clinical setting, I will incorporate all of these skills into my practice. I will treat all my patients with the utmost respect and always provide care that will benefit my patient. I will apply all my clinical knowledge as well as have a caring and loving demeanor. I will always listen to my patients wishes above all else. It is important that I am caring, kind, understanding, approachable, and compassionate so that my patients always feel as if they can trust in my care and me.


Conclusion Overall, I believe a nurse must always be there for the patient. Whether the patient needs something to drink, an NG tube inserted, or simply needs someone to talk to, the nurse must always be there with a positive attitude and the skills to do what is needed. A nurse must possess the characteristics necessary to succeed in the art of nursing and the clinical knowledge to succeed in the science of nursing. The healing and health of the patient is always the main goal of the nurse.


References Nursing Theory. (2011). Jean Watson's Contribution to Nursing Theory: Philosophy and Science of Caring. Retrieved October 27, 2012, from Watson, Jean. (2012) Caring science ten caritas processes. Watson Caring Science Institute. Retrieved October 27, 2012, form