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My Personal Philosophy of Nursing

Eliza Dominique Yutuc

Old Dominion University


My Personal Philosophy of Nursing

At a young age, my very first thought of nursing is as basic as someone who takes care of

the sick. Today, I am in nursing school and have experienced working with numbers of medical

staff including nurses. Together, we worked and struggled in order to provide the best quality

care among our patients. I have learned how to be patient, respectful, and understanding with all

the different patients I met every shift. I can now describe nursing as a more complex profession.

Not only that nurses care for the sick, but they also advocate and collaborate. With experience,

my whole philosophy of nursing changed over time.

The purpose of this paper is to provide my own personal philosophy of nursing by

incorporating different definitions of nursing, explaining nursing relationships, defining my

purpose, and analyzing the correlation between the principles of nursing and my experiences.

Definition of Nursing

With all the different definitions of nursing by multiple known personalities, I have

narrowed it down to two. My first favorite definition is by Florence Nightingale, who is the

founder of modern nursing. She described nursing as both science and an art (1860). My

perception of that definition is that, the science aspect of nursing pertains to the evidenced-based

practice that sets as a guide for quality care. On the other hand, the art of nursing is the skill and

someone’s ability to translate, communicate, and provide care. Another favorite definition of

mine is by Virginia Henderson. She is the most famous nurse of the 20th century and she stated,

"the unique function of the nurse is to assist the individual, sick or well, in the performance of

those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform

unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge" (1955). Both definitions sums up

how nursing is more than just a simple profession who cares for the sick.

Purpose of Nursing

When I was younger, my dream career was to be a successful architect or interior

designer. Ten years later, I am in a totally different path and pursuing a career in medical field,

particularly nursing. Now, you may be wondering, what completely changed my mind? To be

honest, I do have multiple reasons. In Filipino culture, there is a strong emphasis into women as

caretakers. I grew up within this tradition, thus, explaining the stereotype where I’m always

asked if my aunts, sisters or cousins are also nurses. Funny thought is, yes they all are. I also

grew up into a multigenerational and extended family household, therefore, making it easier for

me to understand various lengths of needs across different lifestyle. What most impacted my

decision to be a nurse is my own birthing process and experience of being a mother. I have noted

and appreciated every single help, care, and love that all my nurses have unconditionally

provided. From then on, I knew what my future purpose is. Every single one of us choose a

certain way to help other people. It’s as easy as giving a homeless person some money, donating

your slightly used or new items, and even just holding the door open for someone behind. For

me, my passion for helping others can be best executed if I was a nurse.

Nursing Relationsips

Nursing relationships are very important in terms of explaining different approach of

nursing care within multiple situations. The relationship between the nurse and a culturally

diverse setting can be best explained by the Transcultural Nursing Theory by Madeleine

Leininger. This theory emphasizes the “nurses’ responsibility to understand the role of culture in

the health of the patient” (Petiprin, 2016). It is very important that nurses take into consideration

a client’s cultural beliefs and traditions. As nurses, we have to be culturally sensitive to be able

to provide care that are respectful and acceptable within the client’s culture. Nurses and their role

within a community is to be an advocate, mainly for preventative purposes and educational

teachings. Betty Neuman’s Systems Theory explains that, “prevention is the primary

intervention” and “nursing is a unique profession concerned with the variables that influence the

response the patient might have to a stressor” (Petiprin, 2016). A community nurse’s role is to

provide and promote community wellness while identifying variables such as, income,

population, etc. that can influence healthcare approach among patients. It is also significant to

investigate these variables to be able to provide related education teachings that will lead to

prevention. The nurses and other healthcare professionals’ main relationship is collaboration and

teamwork. Hildegard’s Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations includes the “seven nursing

roles, which show the dynamic character roles typical in clinical nursing” (Petiprin, 2016). We

have bedside nurses, nurse managers and supervisors, clinical coordinator, etc. that each

represent a certain role into the patient’s care. However, it is also somehow similar as to having

the doctor, anesthesiologist, respiratory therapist, etc. All of which work hand in hand, in

collaboration, to be able to provide the best care possible among patients.

Moral and Ethical Principles

As a previous care partner at the hospital, I followed ethical principles and demonstrated

moral values while doing my job. I believe in the Golden Rule, “do unto others as you would

have them do unto you” (Luke 6:31, New International Version). I treat my patients the way I

wanted to be treated if I was in their shoes. Also, I keep in mind that a person’s mood or

appearance can be affected by what they are going through, such as experiencing pain after

surgery, thus showing negative attitude. I also believe in treating other people with dignity and

respect and most importantly, not judging the book by its cover. As nurses, we will meet

different patients with different backgrounds, beliefs, and attitudes. It is our job to treat them

with utmost respect while providing the care that they need, regardless of what their stance in the

community. In healthcare setting, I treat my patients equally and my passion for caring others



In conclusion, both definitions of nursing by Florence Nightingale and Virginia

Henderson, along with the different nursing relationships and theories behind it, help me

perceive nursing as more of a complex profession. My own experiences and the guiding

principles that I follow and execute within my profession, contributed to the identification of my

purpose and philosophy of nursing.


Upon reflecting and incorporating other definitions of nursing, I have learned how

complex and important a nurse’s role into the society. It has so much meaning and it is definitely

more than just caring for the sick. There are many nursing roles and relationships within the

healthcare setting. My experiences as both the patient and the care giver have molded me to

become the best future nurse I have always dreamed of.



Henderson, V. (1955). Principles and Practice of Nursing. New York: Macmillan.

Nightingale, F. (1860). Simple Definition of Nursing. Retrieved from

Petiprin, A. (2016). Madeleine Leininger - Nursing Theorist. Retrieved from

Petiprin, A. (2016). Systems Theory. Retrieved from


Petiprin, A. (2016). Hildegard Peplau - Nursing Theorist. Retrieved from http://www.nursing-

Honor Code Statement

I, Eliza Dominique Yutuc, pledge to support the Honor System of Old Dominion

University. I will refrain from any form of academic dishonesty or deception, such as cheating or

plagiarism. I am aware that as a member of the academic community it is my responsibility to

turn in all suspected violations of the Honor Code. I will report to a hearing if summoned.