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Defining Professional Nursing: Personal Nursing Philosophy


The current shift in health care towards patient-centered evidence-based practice influences all the professionals in the sphere, with nurses not being an exception. In contemporary circumstances, it is pivotal for all the nurses to elaborate their personal nursing philosophy to reference it every time they need to make a crucial decision. I believe that a practical philosophy should be based upon the four meta paradigms and the concept of accountability.

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Key Concepts

The principal task of contemporary nursing practice is delivering patient-centered care. Therefore, the central concept of my professional philosophy is patient, which includes the person’s socio-economic status, religious confession, political commitment, and moral norms. Additionally, the idea implies an individual approach to every case in nursing practice to avoid bias. The other primary idea is well-being, which is the patient’s health status and personal opinion about it. Besides the physical and mental health, the emotional aspect is also vital, as it allows nurses to acquire a deeper understanding of a patient’s condition. In short, the two primary concerns of nursing, in my opinion, are person and health.

Another essential component of the personal, professional philosophy is evidence-based care. This aspect includes taking responsibility for all the decisions made in an attempt to provide the best health care. In other words, I believe that every nurse should aim at providing not only episodic treatment of acute diseases but also be accountable for providing education, organizing preventative measures, and thoughtful communication with patients.

Moreover, the last key concept that should be included in the philosophy is the environment, which is closely connected to the concept of an individual approach. The aspect implies not only the physical surroundings of a patient but also the social and emotional factors that may influence a patient’s well-being. Moreover, the environment on hospital grounds is mostly the concern of nurses, as they are front-line workers who communicate with patients in most cases. In summary, my personal nursing philosophy includes all four meta paradigms and the idea of accountability.


The four meta paradigms in nursing practice include the concepts of person, nursing, health, and environment. A pragmatic look at these concepts shows that specific aspects of the practice situation are the health condition involved, client population or age group, the location of practice, and the action of the nurse (Alligood, 2017). While these phenomena make intuitive sense, inspecting the matter in a wider scope gives a broader picture.

The nursing aspect is related to the art and science of the profession and describes interventions or actions. In my practice area, it means that every specialist should be aware of the recent research concerning intervention technics. The concept of health includes the objective and subjective attributes of well-being. In practice, this means that a patient’s health is not only a summary of all the physical parameters and symptoms but also the person’s attitude towards it (Alligood, 2017). The definition of a person is the recipient of care, which may include not only the patient but his family, friends, and partners.

Finally, the concept of the environment includes internal, external, and social factors that influence the patient’s health. In practice, it consists of genetics, immune function, culture, interpersonal relationships, economics, mental state, geographic location, education level, ecology, and much more. In short, while being rather inclusive notions, the four meta paradigms are practical matters at the same time.

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Nursing Process


The practical side of my nursing philosophy lies in the concept of accountability. According to Krautscheid (2014), it is defined as “responsibility for one’s nursing judgments, actions, and omissions as they relate to lifelong learning, maintaining competency, and upholding both quality patient care outcomes and standards of the profession” (p. 46). In other words, while being a student, I should be conscientious that I have to take moral responsibility for my decisions. This understanding forces us to gather all the possible evidence instead of jumping to conclusions. In short, while dealing with abstract notions, my professional philosophy can be easily applied in practice.

Strengths and Limitation

The strengths and limitations of the proposed nursing philosophy are closely connected to each other. The primary characteristic of my philosophy is inclusiveness, which, on the one hand, can be treated as a strength, as it helps to explain and evaluate every phenomenon in practice. Moreover, it can be transformed into fourteen core nursing competencies reviewed by Clark, Raffray, Hendricks, and Gagnon (2016). On the other hand, the approach lacks specific instructions on how to act in troublesome situations. The other strength of my philosophy is that it supports advanced learning.

According to Krautscheid (2014), 65% of nurses are not accountable for their actions after graduation. As one of the central aspects of the proposed approach is taking responsibility for one’s decisions, it helps to avoid common mistakes in real practice. However, another weakness may be that the philosophy is complex, and not everyone can adopt it. In brief, the analysis shows that the central characteristics of my approach to nursing may be treated as both strengths and weaknesses.


Formulating professional philosophy is crucial for acquiring core competencies in learning, research, or nursing practice. The approach described in the present paper is based upon four meta paradigms and the concept of accountability. Even though the philosophy has its weaknesses, it can be easily translated into practice and explain every phenomenon in the sphere.


Alligood, M. (2017). Nursing Theorists and Their Work. Philadelphia: Elsevier.

Clark, M., Raffray, M., Hendricks, K., & Gagnon, A. (2016). Global and public health core competencies for nursing education: A systematic review of essential competencies. Nurse Education Today, 40, 173-180. Web.

Krautscheid, L. (2014). Defining professional nursing accountability: A literature review. Journal of Professional Nursing, 30(1), 43-47. Web.

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