Although a number of widely accepted nursing theories and philosophies exist, it is common for each nurse to develop an individual one based on the knowledge, experience, and contexts acquired throughout their education. A personal philosophy is a statement of beliefs, values, and ethics in terms of nursing practice and interaction with patients, often reflecting unique perspectives and convictions (ECPI University, n.d.). The described personal nursing philosophy promotes the use of knowledge and skill to demonstrate competence and professionalism in all manners of practice.
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The fundamental principles of the philosophy are that nursing continues to be a meticulous and exact science. Even if viewed from an artistic perspective, nursing must adhere to methodologies and guidelines determined by scientific data and established by experts in the field. Evidence-based practice is the central concept of the philosophy, focusing on finding solutions and improving the nursing process through rigorous research. This approach is valuable because it creates knowledge and structure for nursing practice, administration, and education. Instead of using trial and error or subjective experience alone, the objectivity of evidence-based practice allows implementing improvements to the nursing process with more assurance, which has financial, ethical, and operational benefits (Purdue University Northwest, 2015).
The philosophy also supports using a holistic method of practice. That means that within the context of evidence-based data, nurses are encouraged to use comprehensive means to achieve the best outcomes. Therefore, combining pharmacological interventions with lifestyle changes and promoting patient education is appropriate since these interventions have been proven to be effective. The primary objective of nursing in the philosophy is to provide the most effective treatment to patients using all available resources and using an individualized approach to encompass patient-centered care. Furthermore, it is critical for nurses to engage in public service through the promotion of population health and disease prevention as well as actively participate in community outreach programs.
- Human beings – viewed as the primary subject of treatment. The main aspect of nursing is to lead to improved outcomes and better health. Patients should be treated with dignity and respect. There is an emphasis that all people can be taught to improve their health through appropriate lifestyle choices.
- Environment – a medical environment should follow all necessary guidelines, including sanitation, availability of necessary equipment or bed space, and patient comfort. Nurses have a significant impact on creating and maintaining this environment.
- Health – it is a dynamic factor that depends on the choices each person makes. Health can be improved with proper adherence to treatment. New medical and technological possibilities available through research allow for opportunities to enhance the health of patients.
- Nursing Practice – a discipline and profession which carries significant responsibility and burden. Nursing should be undertaken with great consideration for the well-being of patients and the community. Despite challenges and burnout, all appropriate guidelines and procedures should be followed.
In current nursing practice, the philosophy can be applied by dedicating more time and personal initiative to focus on research and improvement of hospital processes through evidence-based practice. This may include evaluating the issues that the department is facing, gathering feedback from staff, and using literature to find solutions. One of the primary aspects is guideline development which is both a research and administrative task that includes staff education. A patient-centered approach can be used by focusing on aspects of patient education and communication with family members to ensure that there is a high level of adherence to post-discharge treatment. Finally, a nurse can participate in community outreach by developing and seeking funding for healthcare initiatives and programs through schools and community centers. The current evidence shift towards disease prevention through education and other influential methods of public awareness emphasizes the need for nurse participation in such policies.
Strengths and Limitations
The strength of the philosophy is that the focus on evidence and method is efficient and adaptable to the requirements of the modern health care system. New solutions can be researched and implemented to promote continued performance improvement. Experts and leadership in nursing support his type of practice approach. However, the limitation is that evidence-based practice is difficult to instill on an institutional level and a hospital’s organizational readiness may be inadequate due to the required amount of resources (Warren et al., 2016). Nurses, in daily practice, are dedicated to a significant number of tasks which often leaves little time and energy to conduct necessary research and development of interventions associated with evidence-based practice. Furthermore, the philosophy emphasizes structure and guidelines. Although this is necessary and effective at achieving objectives, it ignores the artistic aspect of nursing which in specific situations may be potentially lifesaving or improve patient treatment.
A personal nursing philosophy is a critical concept for each nursing to develop. It helps to interconnect the acquired knowledge and theory with personal values. This personal statement is reflective of the author’s perspectives. It supports an evidence-based and methodological approach to practice in order to achieve positive patient outcomes.
ECPI University. (n.d.). What is a philosophy of nursing? Web.
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Purdue University Northwest. (n.d.). Focusing on evidence-based practice. Web.
Warren, J. I., Mclaughlin, M., Bardsley, J., Eich, J., Esche, C. A., Kropkowski, L., & Risch, S. (2016). The strengths and challenges of implementing EBP in healthcare systems. Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing, 13(1), 15-24. Web.