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Theoretical Foundations of Nursing: Self-concept

I am a strong, attractive, and medium-sized young adult with many talents such as striving talents (achiever, competence, ethics, and belief), thinking talents (focus, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and creativity), and relating talents (team-player, positivity, and individualized perception). On the other hand, my personal skills include self-management (planning, time-management, self-awareness), independent learning (self-appraisal, reflection, and flexibility), and goal-oriented skills (goal-setting, planning, and monitoring). Additionally, I am healthy because I maintain an updated dietary and exercise plan, which guides my day-to-day eating habits and physical activity. The possible health risks in my life include susceptibility to accidents and physical injury.

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Therefore, in the future, I would like to maintain my physical appearance in addition to adding stamina to my list of striving talents. I would also like to maintain my current personal skills except for independent learning where I would like to seek the help of my peers and experts in learning. Conversely, I would also wish to maintain my health behaviors while minimizing the health risks.

Professional Self-concept (Values)

Through the many years I have spent as a student in nursing, I have been socialized into the profession, and in the process, I have internalized the significance of many professional values, beliefs, and attitudes in nursing. As a result, the values that I would like to inject into the profession include commitment to the service of care-giving, respect for patient autonomy, commitment to continuous (life-long) education and learning, and belief in self-respect and the value/uniqueness of each human being (Blais & Hayes, 2011; Masters, 2009, p. 127). Accordingly, through life-long learning and interaction with other professional nurses, I would like to nurture these values and beliefs while contributing to the efforts geared toward providing timely, quality, evidence-based, and cost-effective care services to all clients and their families.

Definition of Nursing

From a personal perspective, nursing can be defined to as the art and science of caring whose ultimate goal is health promotion and disease prevention for all. Therefore, nursing utilizes knowledge, technical skills, and self-care in providing competent spiritual, physical, social, intellectual, and psychological care to clients and their families.

Nursing Theorist/Theory

The nursing theory that closely reflects my definition for nursing is the adaptation theory. Conversely, the nursing theorist whose ideas reflect my definition for nursing is Dr. F.G. Abdellah (1960). According to the adaptation theory, adaptation entails continuous adjustment whereby change is effected through interaction and response. As a result, for nurses to effect change relative to health outcomes, they should enlist human adaptation through maintaining positive interpersonal relations with clients and their families. Conversely, Dr. Abdellah’s nursing theory focuses on the need for nursing care to deliver competent physical, spiritual, social, emotional, and intellectual care to clients and their families. Therefore, the core concept of nursing is caring, which captures all the aspects mentioned above (Blais & Hayes, 2011; Masters, 2009).

Professional Goals

My professional goals include values self-reflection, practicing care for self and others, remaining open to the perspectives of others by maintaining open-dialogue in real-life nursing practice, remaining committed to life-long learning and education, using nursing theory to inform practice, maintaining evidence-based practices in nursing, maintaining confidence and self-direction in practice, and becoming a registered nurse (RN) in the near future (Masters, 2009, p. 135).

Professional Self-Concept (Knowledge)

Through continuous learning, I have become knowledgeable in terms of understanding various methods and models used in nursing. Therefore, my knowledge in nursing is based on my ability to demonstrate professionalism in nursing ethics, functional nursing, case management, primary nursing, team nursing, total patient care, and practicing evidence-based nursing (Masters, 2009, p. 135). On the other hand, since a considerable portion of my knowledge in nursing is theoretical, I am looking forward to obtaining practical knowledge and skills through working and interacting with professionals in the field. Taken together, my knowledge in different aspects of nursing will guide my efforts toward achieving my professional nursing goals listed above.

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Professional Self-Concept (Skills)

As mentioned earlier, I possess different personal skills including self-management, independent learning, and goal-oriented skills. Since nursing practice combines knowledge, technical skills, and self-conception in delivering care, I am looking forward to obtaining additional skills such as self-direction, self-reflection, interpersonal skills, communication skills, leadership skills, and skills in information technology. All these skills will play a pivotal role in creating an enabling environment to achieve the set professional goals.

Self-concept Changes

Nursing is a dynamic profession considering that professional standards, objectives, and goals are bound to change relative to patient needs, technological changes, and availability of resources. As a result, my professional self-concept keeps on changing with the current issues in the healthcare industry, and thus it is my duty to ensure that I align my knowledge and skills to fit the existing circumstances. The changes in my professional self-concept are also expected to change in the future because as time passes, I am bound to encounter totally different and unique circumstances, which require specific skills. However, by remaining true to the spirit of life-long learning and education, nurses stand a better chance of overcoming any challenges in the healthcare industry today.


Blais, K.K., & Hayes, J.S. (2011). Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Masters, K. (2009). Role development in professional nursing practice (2nd ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

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