NSG 3007 Week 4 Assignment 2 Personal Philosophy of Nursing


Nursing was a calling for me. At thirteen months my son’s lung collapsed, he was hospitalized for 18 days. As a new mother I had no idea what to do. It was the care and compassion for his nurse that nursed him back to health. The hospital was clean, free of clutter, and quiet, which was therapeutic for the healing. Twelve years later, I have made a mission to provide non-judgemental care to every patient I come across,regardless of race, spiritual beliefs, financial status, lifestyle or disability.

According to Black the foundation of nursing is its basic concepts, the ideas that are essential to understanding professional practice. These concepts are person,environment and health (Black, 2014). There are several philosophies, conceptua frameworks and middle-range theories that are based on either one or all three of the concepts. Every nurse will have different beliefs and values that will influence their own practice. Finally nursing will have weaknesses and strengths that will guide the way they collaborate with the multidisciplinary team.

Nurses have always been aware of the influence of the environment on people, beginning with Florence Nightingale. She understood the elements of a healthful environment in which restoration and preservation of health and prevention of disease and injury was possible (Black, 2014). So what is the difference between philosophy and conceptual framework? According to Black a philosophy is a set of beliefs about the nature of how the world works. A conceptual framework provides an organizational structure that makes clearer connections between concepts. As it relates to nursing a philosophy provides a broad, general view of nursing that clarifies values and answers broad disciplinary questions.

Florence Nightingale changed the whole perception of nursing. The birth of modern nursing has evolved throughout the 18th and 19th century. Nightingale was recognized as the first nursing theorist and most commonly known as “The Lady with the Lamp”.

She initiated her environmental theory beginning in the Crimean war, which focused on environmental factors to improve the health of each patient.To Nightingale, “healing was a holistic perspective and process of bringing together all aspects of oneself, body, mind and spirit to achieve and maintain integration and balance” (Dossey, Selanders, Beck, Attewell, 2005 NSG 3007 Week 4 Assignment 2 Personal Philosophy of Nursing). After researching this theory, it best describes the way I view nursing. To fully take care of a patient there are several factors that must be involved to take care of the patient.

Working in Intensive Care I utilize Nightingale’s environmental theory all the time. She described 10 different concepts in caring for a patient. Ventilation and warming to me means keeping the air clean and helping maintain a stable body temperature. Every morning I work I open up the shades, not only for the direct sunlight but to allow the vented patients to differentiate from morning and night. At the hospital I work at we have quiet time between 2pm and 4pm, and after 8:30pm to promote a time for resting and relaxation.

Next Nightingale mentions variety which means the need for changes in color and form. Every day the volunteers stop by to see every patient and offer a flower, newspaper and a word search. Giving variety helps with boredom for the patients. Personal cleanliness, nutrition, hope and advice, and bedding are other concepts she addresses in herEnvironmental Theory. 

Florence Nightingale theory helps with understanding the basic human essential in care for the whole patient. Her theory helps with making sound clinical judgment and generating effective interventions.

According to Black nursing is defined as the provision of health care services, focusing on the maintenance, promotion and restoration of health. The American Nurses Association definition of nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations. Everyone’s definition of nursing is a little bit different but they all sum up to the same thing.

To me nursing is defined as the field that facilitates wellness to the health and helps heal the ill and injured. Nursing provides patient care, assess, and educate patients about their conditions. The practice of nursing is based on a specific body of knowledge that is built on theory (Black, 2014). The foundation of nursing, its bones, is its basic concepts, the ideas that are essential to understanding professional practice. These concepts are person, environment and health (Black, 2014).

The term “person” is used to describe each individual man, woman, or child(Black,2014). In the field of nursing we will care for a variety of cultures, races, genders, sexual orientations, ages, and socioeconomic status. Every person has the right to be cared for regardless of their background.

My motto for caring for people is, treat everyone as if it was your son, daughter, mother, or grandmother. While it is the nurse’s job to care for the patient, it’s those persons responsible to learn to care and educate themselves. For example, a patient diagnosed with pancreatitis, who continues to drink 5 beers a day. The nurse is limited in assisting the patient, but she can still educate them on the importance of not drinking. The a patient has to take responsibility for his own health.

The concept environment includes all the circumstances, influences and conditions that surround and affect individuals, families and groups (Black, 2014). Florence Nightingale understood the elements of a healthful environment in which restoration and preservation of health and prevention of disease and injury were possible (Black, 2014). The environment can be internal and external.

Internal factors vary from moods to general outlook on life. External factors include the use of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco, culture and upbringing. The nurse can be a positive influence in helping to make their environment healthier.

The final concept is health. Health is best viewed as a continuum rather than as an absolute state. Each individual’s health status varies from day to day depending on a variety of factors, such as rest, nutrition and stressors (Black, 2014). To be healthy does not mean that you are free of disease, but completely well physical, mental, and emotional. Health not only includes dieting and exercising, but also having a sane mind and being happy.

People, health and environment are the foundation of nursing. Each concept is equally important and they are interdependent. An individual can be healthy in body, but unhealthy in mind and because of the influence of the surrounding environment. A good example would be a non smoking casino worker, whose environment is surrounded by smoke. This can potentially affect his health in the long run.

“Everything we do, every decision we make and course of action we take is based on our consciously and unconsciously chosen beliefs, attitudes and values (Black, 2014). My

Personal values and beliefs are honesty, kindness, respect, compassion, lifelong learning, persistence, family, benevolence, health promotion, non-judgemental attitude, responsibility, reliability, and teamwork. I use these values to make personal decisions and live my everyday life. My personal and professional values and beliefs are congruent.

The qualities that make a great nurse show through what is valued. Being a good nurse with values isn’t turned on and off at the beginning or the end of the shift, it remains with them forever. Not every situation will go as expected, but to remember we are all human and we are not perfect. Examine each situation and learn from it. The focus of nursing is to ensure patient safety, healing, needs and empowerment.

In nursing, a failure to communicate can have significant, even dire consequences.Communication does not involve simply being able to talk, but to listen to and engage with another person nonverbally, because much of the way that humans express themselves through nonverbal communication.

Developing a nurse-patient relationship is the key for effective communication. There are five major elements that must be present for communication to occur: a sender, a message, a receiver, feedback and a context (Black, 2014). Communication is important in nursing practice for it is said to weave together practice to ensure that care is continuous, consistent and congruous within and across the practice setting (Johns, 2004 .

For me communication comes naturally, I love to talk with my patients. I love being able to sit right next to them and listen to their problems, breaking down what’s really going on, and just being there for them. Sometimes it’s hard to end the conversation, because the patient has some much to tell you.

Another good form of communication that I have is silence. Working in the ICU I use this form of communication a lot. Lastly we had to terminal extubate a patient and I know after extubation and turning off all the vasopressors, the patient would not last long.Asked all the nurses to come stand around the family and patient. The patient took his last breath two minutes later. Doing this spoke volumes without a word being said. The family was very appreciative.

In conclusion, nursing has evolved because of new opportunities and experiences. With the help of Florence Nightingale and several other theorists, modern nursing is at its best. People are living long and engaged in learning more about their health conditions.As nurses, we will continue to do our part to improve the image of the nursing profession through use of our values and beliefs. Through effective communication we will continue to improve healthcare standards.


 American Nurses Association. (2005) Code for nurses with interpretive statements. Washington, DC: Author.

Dossey, B. (2010). Florence Nightingale’s Vision for Health and Healing. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 28(4), 221-224. doi:10.1177/0898010110383111

Professional Nursing: Concepts & Challenges, 7th Edition. [South University]. Retrieved from https://digitalbookshelf.southuniversity.edu/#/books/978-1-4557-0270-1/