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Utilitarian Philosophy in Nursing


This paper explores personal philosophy in nursing. Utilitarian philosophy and its basics are taken as the main perspective to view such aspects as the role of nurses, nursing as a profession, the concepts of health and environment. Besides, the paper focuses on the functions of nursing education, administration and research.

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Personal Philosophy

Philosophy in nursing is composed of the individual values and views of a nurse and their professional organization (Kutin, 2013). Personal philosophy is unique for each practicing nursing specialist. Individual norms of morals and ethical perceptions play an important role in the definition of one’s personal nursing philosophy.

Utilitarian views of Jeremy Bentham fit the general philosophy of nursing very well. Utilitarian philosophy is focused on the multiplication of positive outcomes and happiness of the individuals with the purpose to promote better quality of life for the whole society. Viewing nurses as persons makes it noticeable that they are generous and giving by nature. Nurses devote themselves to a selfless goal of the improvement of the health of other people, saving their lives and addressing their issues. This is a utilitarian approach directed at the promotion of benefits, serving the ultimate good and transforming the world into a better place.

There is an opinion that the role of doctors is not to work with people, but with their diseases. This way, the job of nurses is to accomplish both health maintenance and work with patients. Nurses often serve as the important link between the doctors, the treatments assigned, and the patients together with their relatives. Nursing is multifunctional and multidimensional. Nursing as a profession requires its practitioners to follow a number of rules and standards, which are necessary for the maintenance of the best quality of their work and accomplishment of the best results directed at the improvement of health and wellbeing of the population.

Health in nursing is a concept with a variety of levels. The functions of nursing specialists are not limited by the work with patients at the clinics and hospitals. On the contrary, health in nursing is viewed as an aspect that needs to be addressed and promoted in a number of ways. Utilitarian understanding of health expands beyond the wellbeing of the patients at the hospitals. Nurses are to practice up-stream approach and address some issues before they actually occur, they are also to educate the society, raise health literacy and social awareness of the problems and solutions. Research in nursing also serves utilitarian purposes and provides information for the better understanding of health issues for the whole society and its separate groups.

Overall, the professional efforts and functions of nursing can be viewed as the utilitarian approach towards the social environment in general. Taking care of the health of individuals and promoting healthy and safe behaviors the nurses address such aspects as the general length of life in the society, mortality and morbidity, the percentage of disabilities, chronic diseases and fetal syndromes. Besides, the quality of life increases when common health issues are addressed or defeated. This way, utilitarian view on the functions of nursing professionals demonstrates that nurses work hard not only to help each individual patient, but also to improve the life of the society in common and raise the level of happiness of all the sides included.

Education in nursing often involves the new professionals learning from the experienced practitioners. Since the United States today experiences rather significant nursing shortage that is exacerbated by the nurse turnover in the medical facilities, the promotion of this career path is directed at the future of the social wellbeing in the country. The improvement of nursing training, education and state policies focused on them serve as the investment into the future. Politicians obliged to care about the welfare of the nation also follow utilitarian ideas and work on the creation of a happy nation. Since health is known to be one of the main attributes of an individual’s happiness, healthcare policies, researches and regulations are some of the most important focuses of the leaders all around the world. The contemporary medical education and the quality of the young medical specialists is the future of the whole nation.

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Administration in nursing is another important factor that influences the processes within the profession. Administration is the necessary leadership that has power to address such problems as nursing shortage and nurse turnover. This is why the success of administration in nursing is based on the quality of professional training, job promotion and utilitarian attitudes within the groups of practitioners. Mutual help and collaboration are the aspects that release the pressure put on the nurses every day. The happiness and wellbeing of the patients directly depend on the wellbeing of nurses, because tired and unfocused nurses are more likely to be indifferent or make medical errors.

Finally, research is necessary in the rapidly developing world. Social changes and technological progress both create new health issues and help to handle the existing ones. In nursing, research is a non-stop process directed at the identification of problems and their solutions in order to provide happiness for the contemporary and future generations of people.


Kutin, J. (2013). 3 Attributes That Make Up a Nurse’s Philosophy. Web.

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