Philosophy of Nursing Has Undergone Many Changes Essay

Pages: 6 (1826 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Health - Nursing

Philosophy of nursing has undergone many changes since its early beginnings. Nurses are known for their desire to help and serve humanity by helping to alleviate their suffering. Selflessness and a commitment to others is a key characteristic of the nurse, who often works long hours to help those in need. These basic tenets of the nursing profession have not changed, but the role of the nurse in relation to others in the healthcare profession is continually evolving. The following will examine my personal philosophy of nursing and will help to define what nursing means to me.

Personal Philosophy

My definition of the nurse is that of a caregiver and technician. The nurse must possess key technical skills, as well as people skills. The nurse must sometimes be the advocate for the patient or serve as an interpreter between the physician and the patient. They may be called to be an educator, making certain that the patient understands their condition or any orders that are given to them. My definition of health means more than simply being in a disease-free state. There is much more to health than the absence of disease. Health encompasses a feeling of happiness and vitality that forms the core of the person's existence. The environment refers to the world outside of the patient's body. It includes the basic necessities of life and the people around them. A person simply refers to a human being. The terms "person" is an all-encompassing term that embodies the essence of their individuality and how they define themselves. When a nurse helps a person, they help the entire person, not just their body.

The accelerated BSN program is designed for students that do not have a nursing degree. It offers the opportunity for people from different academic backgrounds that with to pursue the nursing profession without first becoming and RN. I have a Bachelor's Degree in Management from the University of Ukraine. I feel that my background in management will be an asset in the field of nursing. There are many disciplines that teach skills that transfer to the nursing profession, but that are not directly related to nursing, or part of the core nursing curriculum. The accelerated BSN program will be challenging, especially since I have no training in the medical field. Accelerated nursing programs are becoming more popular. This program will take 18 months to complete and gain the RN license. This is an intense program and will require many adjustments in my life. Completion of this program will require a high level of personal commitment and attention.

Nursing Education and Knowledge

According to the ANA, many health care providers prefer Registered Nurses with a Bachelor's degree as the bare minimum. They feel that this minimal level of training provides better critical thinking skills and leadership. The bachelor's degree will provide the nurse with a background in health promotion, disease prevention, patient education, and management (ANA, 2009). It is believed that the Bachelor's degree provides a better theoretical foundation that will allow the nurse to grow and adapt throughout their career. A solid theoretical background will allow the nurse to adjust to changes in the profession, rather than simply following orders and the daily routine. The nurse with the Bachelor's degree will be an asset to the physician, as they will be able to assist in the analysis of the disease and provide insight into the course that should be taken.

The field of nursing is a continually changing area. Technological developments and new procedures are being developed on a continual basis. The nurse does not stop learning once a license is obtained. The nurse must continually be on a quest for the latest knowledge and techniques. They must read trade magazines and attend professional seminars in order to learn the cutting edge techniques and theories so that she can take these home and apply them to her own patients and practice. Nurses must teach each other what they have learned from experience so that overall knowledge can grow within the group.

Since the days of Florence Nightingale, the field of nursing has changed dramatically in terms of the role that nurses fulfill. In the early days of nursing, the nurse simply followed doctor's orders and took care of the daily tasks of sanitation and cleaning. It was out of place for the nurse to challenge the doctor's orders, even if they knew that they were wrong (Lewis, 2007). Now nurses are expected to take a more active role in decision making regarding patient care. They now perform many of the functions of the doctors themselves (Radcliffe, 2000). The role of the nurse today requires a much broader knowledge base than it did in the past. The nurse no longer simply follows orders, but has responsibility in the decision-making process.

The functions and commitment of nurses today is based on the fundamentals of personal and public health. The nurse is a specialist, manager, and consultant. They fulfill many roles and must adapt to a new situation every day. They care for patients in many settings. They care for patients with short- and long-term illness, as well as offering palliative care to those that are dying. They also play an educational role and provide assistance to help patients gain independence as quickly as possible.

Philosophy of Nursing

Watson asserts that nurses are called "for a philosophy of moral commitment toward protecting human dignity and preserving humanity" (Watson, 4, p. 31 in Kalb & O'Connor-Von, 2007). Moral values are an important aspect of the nursing philosophy. Moral values affect patient care because they have a direct affect on the actions of nurses in professional and personal life. The values that a nurse carries with them to the job influence their job satisfaction, motivation, and commitment to providing quality care to their patients. Moral values differ from society to society and have a cultural aspect. Conflicting moral values can significantly decrease the quality of care provided by the nurse, and can increase the nurse' anxiety and level of burnout. Conflicting moral values can have a devastating affect on the nurse, leading to poor patient care, failure to meet standards and goals, personally stress, anxiety, and burnout. In the worst cases, these factors can lead to resignation and high turnover rates in the nursing profession. Consistency and core values are an important aspect of building longevity in the nursing profession. Nurses must have a solid understanding of the philosophy of nursing and what it means to them.

Nursing is a dynamic profession with an underlying theory that has evolved in response to changing needs and the demands of society. The nursing profession must change in response to changes in technology, telecommunications, demographic and social changes. The nurse of today has many roles that include promoting public health, disease prevention and education, and providing support and information during the care of patients.

The basis theory of nursing has changed little since the days of Florence Nightingale. The basics of cleanliness, sanitation, and attendance to the well-being of all aspects of the patient have not changed. Many of the basic theories developed by Nightingale still form the foundation of nursing theory. However, there have been many new advances that have transformed these basic concepts into what they are today. We now know much more about disease transmission than we did in the time of Nightingale. Nursing practice is based on the latest research and evidence. There is much less guess-work involved in the field of nursing. Nursing theory has evolved through the inclusion of academic research and through the addition of technology. Nursing theory depends more and more on technology as the foundation of patient care management. However, technology cannot care for patients alone and it is the compassion and instincts of the nurse, that often provide the necessary backdrop for nursing theory.

The nursing practice has followed general trends in the field of medicine, relying on evidence-based practice as the standard of care. Today, academic research is considered the standard rather than the exception. In today's regulatory environment evidence-based practice is necessary in order to meet the minimal regulatory requirements. Nursing practice follows the concepts of proper analytical technique. This technique includes proper identification of the problem or question, isolating variables, collecting and analyzing data. Data is collected through interviews, observations, case studies, and direct clinical evidence such as tests. The decision making process relies on statistics to analyze problems and make decisions. Scientific method is the core of research in the nursing profession.

When one compares the nurses of today with those of the early days of nursing, many changes are noted. For instance, the nursing profession of today is much more research oriented than in the past. This is a result of a greater availability of research and resources. Clinical studies are a requirement for the approval and development of new procedures and technological advances. Nursing theories have evolved through the use of research and technology. Each new theory presents new… [END OF PREVIEW]

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