Philosophy of Nursing

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Philosophy of Nursing: The Art and Science of Caring
Stephanie Gray
Jacksonville University

Philosophy of Nursing: The Art and Science of Caring According to Chitty (2004), “Philosophies of nursing are statements of beliefs about nursing and expressions of values in nursing that are used as bases for thinking and activity” (p. 230). Developing a personal philosophy of nursing must integrate the elements of nursing, the individual, the environment, health, and illness. Throughout this paper, this author will describe a personal nursing philosophy developed while working in an intensive care unit. Nursing is the art of incorporating trust, compassion, and caring for the client, as well as science of the pursuit of knowledge, all
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109). Depending on the situation, a therapeutic environment provided by the nurse needs to be conducive to the healing process or the process of dying. Clients affect and are effected by their environments. Teaching is an external influence that offers tremendous value and service when provided to the client. A knowledgeable nurse knows that every moment can be a teachable moment. Practicing nurses become empowered through their abilities to use their knowledge to change client perspectives, organize critical thinking, and articulate the reasoning for decision making, actions, and goals (Kenney, 2002).
Health and Illness The terms of health and illness are both subjective. It has been observed by this author that an individual with a tumor could feel healthy, whereas an individual with no disease or sickness could feel ill. A nurse must recognize health and illness as an individual state of being that is defined only by the client. Health and illness has been viewed as opposite ends of a health continuum, ranging from optimal wellness to death and includes the six dimensions defined by the client that affect the movement along this continuum (Blais & Hayes, 2011). When a client is ill, they are at their most vulnerable state. During this time the nurse must recognize this and be aware of the importance of gaining client trust. The contact between the client and nurse usually comes about from

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