Philosophy of Nursing – Essay Sample


The philosophy of nursing is reflected in the mission statements of nursing care providers and educators. The philosophy is derived and founded on beliefs that are focused on the environment, health and people.   It is also centered on the idea that nursing is a science and an art that is keen on ensuring the psychological and physical well being of patients is enhanced at all costs.

Background and nature

Sellman (2009) explains that behind the creation of the philosophy were the thoughts of forming a rational basis which would guide care teams when focusing their unique capacities to respond to illness and think creatively in order to solve the communal heath issues and meet the field’s valued goals. People are essential components of the dynamic global community and are in constant interaction with the environment. People’s interaction with the environment may affect their access to various services, cause illness and affect their general health. Nursing is meant to be responsive to people’s health needs and ensure that their environment also promotes wellness. Without a good basis for practitioners to base their care judgments then it becomes difficult for providers and the community to enhance health since from the diverse backgrounds that every individual has grown up from the perceptions that have been created regarding health and its maintenance vary.

The nursing philosophy is therefore critical to harmonize the different perceptions of individuals to come up with uniform ideas of how the access to health care services can be made possible, how care services can  be offered, how health can be promoted, disease prevented and illness and disease managed in family units, individuals, and the communities in general (Corrin, 2009).

Important components: nursing philosophy

Sellman (2009) defines philosophy of nursing as a conceptual framework that provides nurses and nursing providers with a reference guide to direct their observations, practices, interpretations and thinking. The nursing philosophy focuses on three main areas of inquiry which are imperative in the nursing practice and theory which include care, persons, and knowledge. The philosophy perceives nursing practice and the client as being systemic in nature. The client is defined holistically and his well being and health tied to the extrinsic and intrinsic variables of the environment.

Edwards (2009) however notes that the philosophy varies and is customized according to or to suit many situations. He clarifies that nurses operate in diverse locations and a variety of conditions that are found within large city hospitals or small local hospitals, general wards or intensive care units, nursing homes or pediatric wards.  Corrin (2009) agrees that no one philosophy of nursing is overly similar to another or can suit all the nursing situations. He adds that even the best of such philosophies must be adjusted to purposively meet the requirements of the various nursing situations. He in fact states that a range of factors must be considered when developing a nursing philosophy in order to come up with one that that best serves the interests of the care institution, the community and individual patients.


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