Philosophy of Nursing



To start with, it is worth stating that the main objective of nursing is addressing health problems. The nursing process might be perceived as a well-established problem solving tool aimed at diagnosing, assessing, planning, and eventually implementing the medical care.

The main objective of nursing profession is the outcome of care. The thing is that nurse practitioners provide the disease prevention strategies, periodic examination and lab work and take care for the physical state of their patients. Today the advanced-practice nursing has changed its focus, and nurses are currently perceived as individuals, who have gained credence as primary care providers. There exist a number of issues which have influenced the growth and shift of nursing practice. They include technological changes, continuum of care, increased number of accountable care organizations, medical homes and nurse-managed health clinics.

While discussing the philosophy of nursing, its domains should be regarded in detail from the scientific and personal viewpoints. Researcher Fawcett considers that metaparadigm of nursing includes:

  • Nursing
  • Patient
  • Environment
  • Health (Basford and Slevin, 2003, p. 275).

It should be stated that according to the Fawcett’s theory, the above mentioned concepts seemed to be the central areas of interest to nursing. He stated that a person is the receiver of care, including individuals, families and communities. The environment is the person’s family, physical surroundings and healthcare setting. Health is the state of being of a particular individual, and nursing is the care done by the nurses to the patient. Researcher Meleis had a bit different viewpoint concerning this issue. According to her, nursing was not one of the elements, but the whole, the main part. Its elements included a person, environment and health. Meleis was a representative of the interactionist school of thought in nursing. The school focused its attention on the very process of medical care and interaction between the nurse and patient. Her theories were based on phenomenology, existentialism and interactionism.

While discussing the philosophy of nursing, personal viewpoint should be expressed. In order to do it, the Fawcett’s framework will be applied.


As for me, nursing is helping a patient to live the life full of physical and psychological opportunities. My personal philosophy of nursing states that this term means delivering the qualified assistance, helping the patient to become independent and returning him the sense of the lost harmony with the world and himself. Nursing is compassion to the patients and a great desire to help them in any possible way. It might be even stated that this term presupposes giving all your soul, professional skills, emotions, and care to the patients in order to assist them to overcome all their illnesses and physical disorders.


To my way of thinking, the patient is an object of nursing; he/she is a person, who needs nurse’s care, attention and even compassion. My personal nursing philosophy sees a nurse as a kind and patient person. She should be able to find a proper approach to every patient and be respectful to his past and present, customs and beliefs. A real nurse heals the patients not with medications only, but with her soul and words. She makes a person overestimate the life values and understand that illness is just a hardship on the way to happiness.

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Nurse and the Community

Nurses stay in the relationship with the community. They enter a compassionate partnership with the community to improve its health and maintain wellness. A nurse is directly related to people, as it is a person that provides healthcare to the clients.

Nurse and other Healthcare Workers

Another issue that should be emphasized is the relationships between nurses and other healthcare workers. More experiences healthcare employees should help the new ones. More competent nurses should in their turn educate younger and less competent individuals.


To my opinion, environment is a combination of natural, social, psychological, spiritual factors and conditions which have a particular effect on a person’s health and activity. I believe that everything people interact with causes a significant influence on their health. Family, friends, colleagues, and home have a great impact on physical and mental well-being of a person.


To my understanding, health is not just the absence of illnesses; it is physical and moral well-being. A person is really healthy, when he/she does not feel any physical and emotional pain and when he/she has an opportunity to live the life to the fullest.

It is worth mentioning that nursing profession is guided by such essential principles as a principle of compassion and principle of positive communication.


The principle of compassion is one of the main principles, involved in the nursing profession, as nurses should understand the sufferings of their patients and treat them with dignity. It should be admitted that nurse-patient relationship presupposes intimate, long-term care. A nurse is always in a direct contact with the patient. Nurses see the patients’ sufferings, pain, vulnerability and sometimes even death (Dziegielewski, 2004, p. 91).


Establishing a positive communication relationship is one of the most important responsibilities of a nurse, while dealing with patients. Positive communication is the means by which a therapeutic communication is initiated. Active listening and observation approach presuppose watching the speaker’s nonverbal actions, while he or she communicates. It should be pointed out that this approach is really important, as it helps the nurse to observe the client’s behaviour and give the direct description of that behaviour. Active listening and observation assist the nurse to recognize the issue, understand the patient’s perceptions and interpret and respond to the patient’s message objectively (Videbeck, 2011, p. 101). It should be pointed out that understanding and putting the indirect messages into words makes the communication process less obscure.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that nursing is a profession which will always continue its growth and evolution. Today nurses function as primary health care providers. They provide the patients with a necessary care. However, it should be emphasized that the expression “necessary care” includes not only medical care, but also compassion, positive communication, advocacy, and respect of the patient’s dignity. Investigation of the theoretical approaches to nursing has changed my personal philosophy. Now I understand that a person is main element of nursing, as all the efforts of nurses are made to help him/her to fight the disease and return to the daily life.

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