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What Nursing Philosophy Means to Me

Olivia Driver
There are many different definitions of nursing that can be used to describe the field. To me, I
believe the definition that most encompasses nursing is as follows, nursing is 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 (Scope and standards, 2010, p. 8). This
definition covers all the diverse actions that a person takes responsibility for when he/she joins
the field of nursing. Nursing is so much more than just doing the dirty work or being a
doctors helper. A nurse can become the voice for the patient that no one else wanted to listen
to, or the support a family needs while they watch their treasured family member pass away. The
profession of nursing is too dynamic for any definition to truly encompass, but I believe this one
comes the closest to describing this diverse profession.
Out of the four metapardigm domains, which I believe are all very important; I think the
most important domain is the person. I see my role as a nurse as being an advocate for each and
every person I have as my patient. Each person deserves the upmost level of respect and value as
you would want for yourself if you were in their position. I want to be able to say I treat all my
patients like I would if it were my mom or dad. Every person is fighting their own battle; and as
a nurse you, are there for that person as they go through the battle of illness. I believe if I work in
an emergency room, this would come into play in a multitude of situations. In an emergency
room, it is easy to try to rush through patients and give them speed care, but this is not what
should happen. Each and every person deserves the absolute best nursing care possible, despite
what they are in the hospital for or if the nurses or doctors think their illness isnt as big of a

priority as others. Each person is important and deserves professional, caring interactions with
their nurse who can quickly become their only or biggest advocate.
As important as the individual is in health care, there are other important aspects as well.
One that I see myself preforming in frequently is the Meso System (Family) aspect of the JMU
undergraduate nursing curricular model. Within this environment, I see myself as a comforter to
family members while respecting the fact that they may have different beliefs than myself. Since
oncology is one of the departments I want to work in, one of my major jobs as a nurse will be
comforting family members and providing end of life care. With this I will have to respect the
different beliefs of my patients and be sure to never force mine upon them. The end of life for a
patient can become a very spiritual time for a patient; and as their nurse, I will have to respect
this and help them and their families as much as possible. As a nurse, I may be one of the biggest
comforters to my patients and their families as they go through tough times. I will be there for
their greatest times and their worst. Within the meso system, I will have to remember that a
patients family is an important aspect of nursing care; and sometimes, the family of the patient
needs as much care and love as the patient does. This is called family centered care. This care
focuss on the family of the patient and how they are coping with their family members illness.
In an article by Elizabeth Henneman and Suzette Cardin (2002), they describe family centered
care as patient-focused care to the next step [which] widens the circle of concern to include
those persons who are important in a patients life (p.13). While the needs of the patient are of
top priority, the needs of the family members must be met too. These needs include the need for
information, for reassurance and support, and the need to be near the patient. (p.14) It is one of
the nurses duties to help support the family and provide for these needs. From my own personal
experience with family members in end of life care, I understand how the nurse can make or

break how the family responds to their family members illness, and how they cope with what has
My all time favorite quote is one by Florence Nightingale. She states I attribute my
success to this I never gave or took any excuse (Florence Nightingale quotes, n.d.). This quote
is what has defined my nursing school experience thus far, and what I hope to define my future
nursing experiences. In five years I see myself successful and hopefully making Florence
Nightingale (if she was still living) proud. I have yet to decide where I want to be working, but
as of now my top three choices are the emergency department, maternity, or oncology. No matter
where I am working, my biggest priority is that I want to make a difference. I may not be able to
change the entire world, but I can change the world of my patients. I see myself doing this
because that is exactly why I joined field of nursing in the first place. Nurses have changed my
life in so many ways and have shown me the true art of caring. A quote from a book edited by
Leighton Cluff and Robert Binstock (2001), describes this when they write, it is difficult to
appreciate the importance of caring without personally having experienced a serious illness or
disability or having had an opportunity to observe close at hand those who are so afflicted
(p.15). After watching the incredible way that nurses helped my uncle and grandfather through
their illnesses when they were both seriously ill with cancer, it truly made me realize what caring
for someone means. That experience has put me on my path to where I am now: a nursing
student on her way to becoming a nurse.

Cluff, L.E. & Binstock, R.H. (Eds.). (2001). The lost art of caring: A challenge to health
professionals, families, communities, and society. Retrieved from
Florence Nightingale quotes. (n.d.). Biography Online. Retrieved from
Henneman, E. A. & Cardin, S. (2002). Family-centered cirtical care: A practical approach to
making it happen. Critical Care Nurse. 22(6). Retrieved from
Scope and standards of practice: Nursing. (2010). American Nurses Association. 2 Retrieved