Nursing Theories: Personal Nursing Philosophy


Being a nurse in a palliative care department can be challenging. The patients receiving healthcare services are often in pain and can be overwhelmed by emotional distress alongside serious health conditions. Communication is regarded as one of the key elements of care provided to such patients (Kelley & Morrison, 2015). However, in many cases, nurses fail to choose the most effective communication techniques, which leads to patient dissatisfaction, insufficient compliance with treatment, and undesirable health outcomes. It has been acknowledged that patients tend to take only some medications and disregard various recommendations (Riva et al., 2015). Therefore, it is critical to make sure that nurses use effective communication patterns. My personal philosophy aims at helping nursing practitioners achieve this goal.

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Key Concepts

Communication is one of the primary concepts of my personal nursing philosophy. It can be defined as a process of sharing information. When communicating with patients (and their caregivers), nurses should take three roles. At that, these roles should be used in a specific order. The first step is to become a guide for the patient. The concept of the guide is associated with helping patients to understand the major processes they will be involved in during their hospital stay and beyond. The second step is becoming a friend. The concept of the friend is associated with trust. The final step is becoming a mentor for the patient. Nursing professionals should provide their recommendations especially when it comes to patient self-care.


Researchers and practitioners identify four basic components to a holistic view of nursing care. These elements include the person, health, environment, and nursing (Masters, 2014). The three roles mentioned above can be regarded in terms of these four aspects. The person element is key to my philosophy as the patient’s needs are addressed. Patients receive information, guidance, and mentoring, which improves patient satisfaction and the quality of care. The environment component is mainly associated with the clinical setting. Patients receive the guidance necessary for accessing all available services and information. The health component is largely manifested through the focus on patients’ emotional well-being, as well as the provision of information and training that can improve their health condition. Finally, the nursing element presupposes the focus on professional development and acquisition of skills with the focus on effective communication.

Nursing Process – Philosophy

My personal philosophy can be effectively applied in any area, but it is specifically beneficial for palliative patients. These people have serious health issues that are accompanied by a considerable emotional load. This emotional distress is often aggravated by the complexity of clinical experiences as well as the entire healthcare system. Patients may feel at a loss as they are not sure whom they can address or what is available. The lack of knowledge in patients and the lack of time in healthcare professionals may lead to the growing distrust as patients (especially people coming from non-western societies) do not have complete confidence in the medical staff.

The first role nurses should take up is that of a guide. Palliative patients and their caregivers understand that they will have to spend a lot of time communicating with healthcare practitioners, but they have many questions. When nurses first meet their patients, they should provide the most relevant information as to the services available, places patients might need to visit, and so forth. This meeting should end in asking whether the patient has any questions.

Being a friend can seem the most difficult task due to the scarcity of time. However, nurses can develop friendly relationships with patients through brief visits and quick talks, making jokes and asking questions about patients’ life, preferences, hobbies, and so on. It is essential to remember, though, that this is the role of a professional friend so appropriate limits and boundaries should be present. Finally, the role of the mentor is the central one. It cannot be performed without passing the two stages mentioned above, but it is also the most rewarding. Nurses provide recommendations and training to help patients acquire self-care skills, which will improve their quality of life.

Nursing Process – Strengths & Limitations

The major strength of this philosophy is its contribution to the development of frameworks that can help nurses communicate with patients effectively. Some nursing practitioners tend to concentrate on professional issues and try to be experts rather than mentors and guides. This approach leads to ineffective communication, patient dissatisfaction, and even poor health outcomes. However, the philosophy has certain limitations. For example, it cannot be applied to the fullest with patients who have limited expertise in English. Linguistic issues can hinder the effectiveness of this philosophy.

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On balance, it is possible to note that my personal philosophy can help nurses improve the quality of care they provide. If this framework is applied properly, patients will feel they can address nurses and receive competent answers. Nurses will provide emotional support and develop rapport to make patients more willing to comply with the prescribed treatment and recommendations. Patients will feel they can follow these recommendations and try to really shape their lifestyles, which will be beneficial for them.


Kelley, A., & Morrison, R. (2015). Palliative care for the seriously ill. New England Journal of Medicine, 373(8), 747-755.

Masters, K. (2014). Nursing theories: A framework for professional practice (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Riva, S., Nobili, A., Djade, C. D., Mancuso, M. E., Santagostino, E., & Pravettoni, G. (2015). Cognitive and psychological profiles in treatment compliance: A study in an elderly population with hemophilia. Clinical Interventions in Aging, 10, 1141-1146.

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