Personal Nursing Philosophy Paper

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Nursing Personal Philosophy

Michael R. Dunbar

Adaptation to Role of Professional Nurse

Lone Star College CyFair

19 October 2015

Nursing Personal Philosophy

The Texas Board of Nursing lists several criteria for which a licensed nurse shall follow to practice within the state. According to the Texas Board of Nursing, (2015) professional nursing involves: the observation, assessment, intervention, evaluation, rehabilitation, care and counsel, or health teaching of a person who is ill, injured, infirm, or experiencing a change in normal health process; the maintenance of health or prevention of illness, the administration of a medication or treatment as ordered by a physician, podiatrist, or dentist; the supervision or teaching of nursing, the administration, supervision, and evaluation of nursing practices, policies, and procedures The RN takes responsibility and accepts accountability for practicing within the legal scope of practice and is prepared to work in all health care settings, and may engage in independent nursing practice without supervision by another health care provider. In order to adopt these nursing criteria as a baseline for performing a licensed nurse in the state of Texas, one must understand their own individual foundation for nursing. My personal philosophy of nursing is based on military experience in the United States Marine Corps. Through enlisting in the Marine Corps during wartime, facing various trials and tribulations and staring into the numerous faces of adversity, I learned valuable intangible traits that give me the solid backbone to build my nursing career. Through the military, one must master their craft, always hold true to personal integrity, constantly take the initiative to push forward, accept the leadership role and take charge of the situation, and accomplish the mission; fighting to defend those who cannot fight for themselves. While the uniform has changed, the battlefields are in the operating rooms, emergency departments, and various units within a hospital, the foe is now illness, disease, and injury, the mission parameters remain the same; fighting for those who cannot care for themselves. A particular nursing theorist whose theory aligns with my own nursing philosophy is Hildegard Peplau, specifically her concept of the interpersonal relationship between the nurse and the patient. According to Gastmans (1998) what is innovative about this definition is Peplaus introduction of the paradigm of interpersonal relations, according to which both the patient and the nurse contribute to and participate in promoting the relational process which unfolds between them. The nurse and the patient are conceived as human persons, each with their own fields of experience and perception, constituted by thoughts, feelings, desires, assumptions, expectations and activities. The interaction between the thoughts, feelings and activities of the patient and those of the nurse lies at the very centre of the nursing process (pg. 1315-1316). I agree with this theory because it is essential for the nurse to provide quality healthcare and implement adequate interventions on behalf of the patient and his or her health, but all of this is based on the trust and the relationship that is built between the nurse and the patient in the very limited time at the hospital. Naturally, certain boundaries are in place to limit each members role, and the goals are focused on the patient and his or her healthcare needs, but without that working relationship, the fundamentals of nursing and providing care are empty, lacking compassion, and become mechanical, cold and calculated, negating the need for humanistic touch and presence which is a fundamental of medical care. I consider Peplaus theory one of my core pillars of how I address nursing and my patients. Having been a patient, I understand their needs and expectations therefore, I understand the requirement of having a good working relationship and ensure my patient is a part of my healthcare team and include them on the decisions that directly affect their health. Another theorist that stands out and corresponds with my own style of nursing is Virginia Henderson whose nursing need theory is defined as a unique focus on nursing practice in which the importance is encircled around the idea of increasing the patients independence to hasten their progress in the hospital and that basic human needs and how nurses can assist in meeting said needs. Abrams described, quoting Henderson herself, that 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 a peaceful death) that the person would perform unaided given the necessary strength, will or knowledge, and to do this in such a way as to help the individual gain independence as rapidly as possible (pg. 382). As a nurse, it is our duty, our responsibility to render aid to our patients, and since each patient is unique in their personality but also their diagnosis; the function we as nurses have with each patient is equally unique and sets the stage to be a rotating evolution as we interact and assist our patients and applying medical interventions to allow them to resume their pre-hospitalized lifestyle and move forward with their lives. Combined with Peplaus theory, Hendersons theory of nursing need culminates in developing a particular relationship with each patient and their medical diagnosis, using critical thinking and applying compassionate and adequate nursing interventions to return the patient to their own, personal homeostasis.While using the knowledge base acquired through nursing school and clinical rotations at various area hospitals, plus guided by nursing theorists such as Peplau and Henderson, as well as others, and primarily built upon my service-based foundation developed through my time in the United States Marine Corps, I have a unique platform in which to practice nursing in modern day America and provide my future patients superior healthcare. As a student nurse, I have had several opportunities to begin fine tuning my own personal philosophy that the patient is my mission, and their medical diagnosis is the current battlefield in which I have the skills and staff to overcome and render appropriate aid, winning the battle for the patient. One of these examples applies not to one singular patient, but to all of them; in that I treat each patient as if it were myself lying in the hospital bed. I develop a particular working relationship with each patient based on compassion and understanding that their circumstance is often outside their control and they have turned to us at the hospital to fight their battle for them. Combining skills, confidence, professionalism as well as a touch of humanism, I have achieved success in providing care and building a trusting relationship with each patient and improved their quality of care. Another example again applies to the bulk of my patients and my personal assurance that I will achieve my mission parameters and go above and beyond the call of duty to fulfill the needs of the patient, in other words, patient advocacy and putting their needs and the needs of their family first under the premise that the patients care and safety are priority. This example once again explains the military foundation as a personal nursing philosophy of serving those who cannot fight for themselves. Lastly, building on the confidence developed while in wartime and applying it to the current battlefield of cancer, sepsis, injury, COPD, HTN, and other various diagnoses, although I am still a student nurse with limited experience and knowledge-base, I continually use my confidence and thus my own personal nursing philosophy, to serve my patients in achieving their goals and meeting their needs and in the process elevate said confidence, build on the skills, and further my own nursing abilities.One-year post graduation goals are to begin my career in a local area hospital as an RN, ideally in a specialty such as ER, OR, or ICU as I feel I would be a valuable addition to a fast paced, critical care based unit within a hospital. At the same time, I plan to begin my BSN from University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston with hopes of completion within 12 months. While working I plan to absorb a variety of experiences as well as dip into the knowledge base of the nursing staff I would soon call co-workers as I build the foundation of my nursing career. Within five years, I plan on having the critical care experience necessary to pursue a doctorate in nursing, perhaps with the intent of obtaining my CRNA. I feel this would be a challenging and rewarding field in which my skills would be enhanced and utilized in a manner that would best serve the interest of my patients. I feel as a nurse, it is a call to duty in which I continue to serve the greater good, and in a way, is an organic flow of my military experience and the defense of those who require aid.


Abrams, S. E. (2007). Nursing the Community, a Look Back at the 1984 Dialogue Between Virginia A. Henderson and Sherry L. Shamansky. Public Health Nursing, 24(4), 382-386. doi:10.1111/j.1525-1446.2007.00647.xGastmans, C. (1998). Interpersonal relations in nursing: a philosophical-ethical analysis of the work of Hildegard E. Peplau. Journal Of Advanced Nursing, 28(6), 1312-1319.Texas Board of Nursing. (2015). Registered nurse scope of practice (Data file). Retrieved from


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