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Personal Philosophy of Nursing

Sarah Spradlin

Old Dominion University


Personal Philosophy of Nursing

The purpose of this paper is to discuss my personal philosophy of nursing. My

philosophy has continuously been forming throughout my academic journey, upon

graduation, and soon to be working independently in a hospital. Prior to becoming nurses,

we have our own set of values and beliefs that we abide by on a daily basis in our own

world. With nursing, we are faced with the reality of partaking in involvement with

someone elses life, which further allows us to evaluate and support our own beliefs and

actions. As a student nurse, I am excited about graduating and eventually becoming

independent, working with patients on my own. Although this will be an advancement in

my career, it will also be a challenging transition due to not having an instructor to

critique my skills and to ensure that I am being thorough with my tasks. I believe it is

important to grow from clinical experiences to help us form into the kind of nurses we

want to be, as well as aiding in the process of creating your own philosophy of nursing.

Definition of Nursing

Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities,

prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through

the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals,

families, groups, communities, and populations (Epstein & Turner, 2015). Although this

is not my original version of the definition of nursing, I couldnt agree more with this

statement. Nursing is not only about caring for people and helping them reach goals to

get back to better health, it is much more than that. It is also about providing holistic

interventions to ensure optimal care to the patient and his or her family during their most

difficult times.

Purpose of Nursing

Nursing has many purposes, ranging from being our patients advocate, such as

relaying wants and needs to physicians, providing discharge teaching following surgery,

or interacting with patient families to promote continuity of care. We also collaborate

with other health care professionals to discuss interventions and treatments to guarantee

the most efficient plan of care across all disciplines. Although we may collaborate with

other professionals, we also need to be able to autonomously meet our patients needs

with our own skill sets and critical thinking abilities. It is also important to be able to

develop rapport and trust with patients, families, and other health care professionals.

Nurses provide their patients and communities with advice, meaning we should stay up to

date on the latest health care practices, and also provide them with an emotional support


Values and Beliefs

It is important to understand and know your values and beliefs as a health care

professional. Nurses share several of the same core values to help provide our patients

with the best care possible. Being able to multitask is important so that we are able to

prioritize duties and patient needs. Along with our multitasking abilities, we are able to

delegate tasks when needed to help manage and ensure that responsibilities will be

accomplished in a timely fashion with our patients always being number one. The

practice setting or environment where nurses are working requires highly developed

critical thinking and problem-solving skills, the ability to exercise clinical judgment with

the know-how to practice from an evidence-based and outcome-driven perspective, and

the ability to develop effectively from a novice to an expert in competency (Huston,


2017). It is important as well for nurses to demonstrate commitment to their job, their

patients and fellow coworkers.

Principles That Guide My Professionals Practice

Principles of nursing provide all nursing staff values to help provide their work

environment with professionalism and safety. There are two principles that I find to be

the most important. The first is ensuring the nursing staff, including new nurses, to

always ask question when unsure of a skill or intervention to be performed on a patient.

It can sometimes become intimidating to ask questions to experienced nurses during the

busiest times. It is important to remember that patient safety does come first and

questions should be asked so reassurance can be provided and accidents can be

prevented. Being a student nurse I have experienced multiple situations where I was

faced with performing a task for the first time and unsure of myself. Thankfully I have

always had excellent guidance from clinical instructors during these situations to confirm

new skills were performed correctly while never causing patient harm. It is imperative for

new nurses to receive support from others to help them become more comfortable and

established in their environment so they are not apprehensive to ask for help when it is


The second principle that I find important is to always treat your patient with

respect and dignity. Nurses should remember to be sure that patients are involved in their

own healthcare plan. We should allow patients to make decisions and for those who are

not able to, we should still provide them with options to let them know they still have

control. An example of this would be allowing the patient to decide what they can eat for

their meals during their hospital stay. Nurses are advocates for our patients, so it is

important for us to listen to our patients concerns, provide them with answers when

questions are asked, and to relay distresses to physicians as desirable. Nurses should

make patients and their family members feel respected and valued to ensure to them their

care was patient centered and collaborative. Along with allowing patients to help make

decisions, we also need to understand the emotional toll certain situations can have on the

patient and family members. Providing emotional support is another way of showing

respect to your patient and their concerns.


Modern nursing is complex, ever changing, and multi focused. Since the time of

Florence Nightingale, however, the goals of nursing has remained unchanged, namely to

provide a safe and caring environment that promotes patient health and well being

(Selanders & Crane, 2012). As nurses, we are effective in several ways during patient

care. We are advocates, listeners, and teachers to out patients and communities. We are

able to provide patient centered care with our multitasking abilities and critical thinking

skills to provide optimal patient outcomes. The values and ethics that are instilled within

us help to provide coworkers and patients with a safe and goal oriented environment.

Sharing and providing the same code of ethics as our hospital and other nurses, helps us

to provide patient care in a holistic approach.


As I reflect on this assignment, I have a better understanding of what my nursing

philosophy is as well as the purpose being a nurse and the many roles we play in patient

care. As I continually grow as a nurse, my philosophy of nursing will become stronger

due to my personal experiences, the involvements that I will share with knowledgeable

nurses, and what I will learn from the diverse populations of people I interact with. I am

eager to grow and apply my experiences that I have gained to help me improve patient

interactions and providing proficient holistic care to my patients and their families.


Epstein, B., Turner, M., (May 31, 2015) "The Nursing Code of Ethics: Its Value, Its

History" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 20, No. 2,

Manuscript 4.

Huston, C.J. (2017). Professional Issues in Nursing. In D. Jones & N. West, New

Graduate RN Transition to Practice Programs (4th Ed.) Wolters Kluwer.

Selanders, L., Crane, P., (January 31, 2012) "The Voice of Florence Nightingale on

Advocacy" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 17, No. 1,

Manuscript 1.

I pledge to support the Honor System of Old Dominion University. I will refrain from any
form of academic dishonesty or deception, such as cheating or plagiarism. I am aware
that as a member of the academic community it is responsibility to turn in all suspected
violators of the Honor Code. I will report to a hearing if summoned.

Name: Sarah Spradlin

Date: March 16, 2017