My personal philosophy of nursing involves providing care to patients using a holistic approach, treating all with the utmost respect, care, and compassion, while keeping in mind all other aspects of the patient. Each day we come into contact and care for patients of different races, genders, religions, backgrounds, ages, and values. As a nurse, it is vital to understand and accept our patient’s differences, this will aid in our emotional connection and rapport with them. We must also understand that we will care for patients in many environments and situations, in which, we must take our knowledge and utilize it appropriately. We are constantly giving patients the medical attention and care they deserve both physically and emotionally.
This confirms the fact that nursing is both an art and science and we must understand both fully to give our patients the best care they deserve. In this paper, I will focus on my views and beliefs, as well as, the relationship between the art of nursing and the science of nursing. I will discuss my definition of health, nursing, and the environment and how these concepts relate to and impact health care and the patient. Many things influence my nursing practice, but I will specifically mention a theory of leadership that made a big impact. I will also discuss how politics and history have shaped nursing practice, as well as, how my values shape my practice. Lastly, I will discuss how the code of ethics and the IOM report impact and shape my practice.
Nursing has been ranked as one of the most trusted professions for quite some time and is at the forefront of medical care. As a nurse, we can impact our patients and their families directly through the care we provide. Because the actions of a nurse involve both the mind and the heart, nursing is considered both an art and a science. One cannot exist without the other, especially in bedside nursing. Nurses can obtain all the knowledge from past curriculum regarding medical care including critical thinking, evidence-based practice, ongoing research, and technology proficiency, but we must also be able to engage in the emotional aspect of nursing as well. Nurses must offer empathy and compassion to all patients during this vulnerable time. The art of nursing also involves the way nurses apply all their knowledge into their care, coming up with creative care plans and teaching methods used for educational purposes. This will ensure that the patients are receiving the best possible care while improving the quality and overall nursing practice.
My personal definition of health is the state or condition a person is in, with regards to their well-being. Is a person free from injury and illness or sick and needing care, or even somewhere in the middle? Health is constantly changing continuum. Nursing is a licensed health care professional that provides high-quality patient-centered care while collaborating with other healthcare members. We integrate our knowledge, values, and skills in providing care to our patients and impact their health. The environment encompasses all your surroundings, such as people, communities and nature, in which, impacts one’s life. All three of these definitions stated above have an influential relationship with one another. Nursing plays a huge role in all situations and environments, whether that be in a hospital, home health, long term care, or out in the community. The environment takes a huge toll on a patient’s health and impact how the nurse provides care, develops treatments, as well as, interventions. “Responsibilities for implementing clinical services relevant to environmental health will vary per practice settings; however, the nursing process is a useful framework for applying environmental health concepts in all settings and roles” (1995). An example of that being a homeless patient who comes into the hospital with stage II cancer. This patient would have limited resources due to being homeless and the care would be focused on what one could do for the patient while in the hospital verse a patient who is a lawyer and lives in a gated neighborhood with all the resources possible. Each of those discharge plans would be completely different. Each patient’s health and the environment has a huge impact on them and on the role of the nurse, each situation is so individualized.
“Learning from the past and bringing knowledge to present day is a salient method for establishing and mastering leadership competencies” (Ledlow & Stephens, 2018). Leadership is both complex and challenging and has influenced nursing practice for many years. Leaders in healthcare are essential, people need to be led and resources need to be managed. The situational or contingency leadership phase allows leaders to make decisions or changes based on the situation at hand. No single way of leading works well in all situations. This model is more “applicable to health organizations today because the healthcare environment is dynamic and stakeholder relationships are multifaceted and complex” (Ledlow & Stephens, 2018). Being able to deal with a situation at hand allows leaders to individualize and change their leadership styles to the way that is the most effective.
There is not just one degree of nursing. Nursing involves so many things, patient-centered care, teamwork, advocating, compassion, and so much more. As a nurse, you have an opportunity to make a difference in someone’s life every day and provide care and support to people when they may be the most vulnerable. While in the nursing role you have an opportunity to transform into a leader, working with other team members to stimulate, inspire and motivate others to make changes in the organization that are needed. I feel that nurses are assumed to be a small part of the organization when in reality they make up a huge chunk of healthcare. “Nursing is the nation’s largest healthcare profession, with more than 3.8 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide” (Nursing Fact Sheet, 2019). Nurses are frontline employees who have a voice and play a huge role in healthcare.
Ethics, values, and morals are vital to patient-centered healthcare, and the role of nurses. Ethics is defined as what is good and right, what should be done, how we treat each other and how we should act, especially when at conflict with our values and beliefs. Ethics impacts and shapes my nursing practice in many ways, as well as, my personal values and morals. Faced with many ethical situations daily to provide quality and ethical care we must know at admission if the patient makes their own decisions, has a living will or if they have appointed a healthcare power of attorney to make their decisions when they are unable. This is super important for many reasons, but especially because the rights and welfare of the patient is a nurse’s number one concern. Professional malpractice is an instance of negligence or incompetence and can be avoided by communicating with your patient and obtaining informed consent or getting information in writing, such as the living will or healthcare power of attorney. An ethics committee is part of every organization, found within all professions, available to help produce an outcome for the patients when challenging situations arise. There is an ANA code of ethics for nurses that provides nonnegotiable, ethical obligations and duties for every individual who enters this profession. We are and always have been ethically obligated to do no harm and treat patients justly and fairly. “Professional nursing is defined as the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations” (Epstein & Turner, 2015).
Our values are what make us up as nurses. Our core values and the values of nursing will impact the care we give to our patients and our practice daily. Many values include human dignity, equality, autonomy, etc. and these values all ensure our patients are treated fairly, equally, independently, and truthfully. As nurses, we will care for an array of people. Many of different backgrounds, races, genders and ages. We must ensure every patient doesn’t feel judged or discriminated against, as well as, are getting the care they deserve. As a nurse, we are promoting health and healing while respecting the dignity and moral wholeness of every person, affirming the uniqueness of each person, and implementing transformative strategies.
Throughout all of time, nurses have aided in the delivery of primary health care services, health care education, health care advising, etc. Nurses have and always will be “critical links in maintaining a cutting-edge healthcare system” (Whelan & Buhler-Wilkerson, 2017). Florence Nightingale played a big part in shaping nursing practice today with a set of ideas known as “Nightingale Principles”. “In the United States, family-centered sickness care remained traditional until the nineteenth century” (Whelan & Buhler-Wilkerson, 2017). After the nineteenth century, care for the sick changed in many places due to industrialization and urbanization. There was an immediate need for capable nurses but this required nurse education to provide quality care to patients. A few schools were formed and the nursing profession was organized. This was the first stepping stone to the nursing education and organizations we have today. “The profession itself flourished in the last twentieth century” (Whelan & Buhler-Wilkerson, 2017). Although many challenges still exist, such as with shortages of nurses, disparities in healthcare, healthcare quality and safety, the nursing profession continues to adapt and constantly change in regards to health care needs and remains a highly-respected profession.
Disparities in healthcare is a huge topic that we are consistently trying to decrease. These social determinants of health are hugely affecting certain health outcomes such as mortality and morbidity. Healthy People 2020 is an organization committed to improving the health of all Americans. It has been around for decades and is updated every 10 years to accommodate the new needs to improve health for Americans. Health Impact in 5 Years (HI-5) is an organization from the CDC created to achieve better health outcomes in the places people live, learn, work and play.
The Institute of Medicine is an initiative launched to transform the nursing profession and maximize the role of nurses and future leaders. Eight recommendations were created for the future of nursing, enabling nurses to play a fundamental role in the transformation of the health care system. To support the recommendations, there were four key messages developed, that stated how nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and training, achieve higher levels of education, be full partners with all health care professionals, and provide effective workforce planning and policymaking with an improved information infrastructure. “Working together, these many diverse parties can help ensure the health care system provides seamless, affordable, quality care that is accessible to all and leads to improved health” (The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, 2010).
Nursing is and always will be a highly respected and sought after profession. Nurses strive to provide care to patients that is respectful, culturally competent and responsive to patient preferences, needs and values while working in interdisciplinary teams to ensure that care is continuous and reliable. I look forward to doing my part to make an impact in this profession and utilizing my knowledge, values, morals, and personal beliefs to continue shaping my practice as a nurse and potential nurse leader.
Epstein, B., & Turner, M. (2015). The Nursing Code of Ethics: Its Value, Its History. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from http://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJ IN/TableofContents/Vol-20-2015/No2-May-2015/The-Nursing-Code-of-Ethics-Its-Value-Its-History.html
Healthy People 2020. (2014). Retrieved April 18, 2019., from https://www.healthypeople.gov/
Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Enhancing Environmental Health Content in Nursing Practice. (1995, January 01). Nursing Practice. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK232401/
Ledlow, G. R., & Stephens, J. H. (2018). Leadership for health professionals: Theory, skills, and applications (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
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Smith, Carolyn. (2019). Leadership in Nursing. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from https://canopy.uc.edu/webapps/blackboard/
The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health. (2010, October). Institute of Medicine of the National Academics. Retrieved April 18, 2019, from http://nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2010/the-future-of-nursing-leading-change- advancing-health.aspx
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