Whats your philosophy?

Nurses General Nursing


Hi- we were discussing this in class and i was just wondering what your answer would be to the question..(Whats your philosophy of nursing?)

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

Well, when I worked night shift, my philosophy was "Keep 'em alive 'til 7:35!" LOL!!! Just kidding. :D

Seriously? I practice holistic nursing. Body-Mind Spirit. If you are asking which nursing theorist I most follow, I guess I'd have to say Gordon. I think her approach works most closely with my Home Health nursing assessment and practice.


270 Posts



1,301 Posts

Hi Hoolahan. The last hospital I worked, we taped our report. So I guess I will paraphrase your motto to "keep them alive to 7:05." :D

I agree that giving attention to body-mind-spirit is usually what most nurses base their practice on. According to a 1977 Zondervan Bible dictionary I looked through the other day, the definition they used for a nurse is "one who looks after, tutors or guides another, as in a period of in experience or sickness." I wasn't looking for the definition of nurse but couldn't help but read it as I was looking for another word. I believe this definition of nurse is what makes our profession so important. This dictionary pointed out that there was a time back in the ancient days that even foster mothers and fathers were considered nurses. But, as it was pointed out under another thread on this bb, health care has become so complex, that you really need someone that spends a large part of their time studying health care and nursing in addition to practicing it.


219 Posts


When I was training the new nurses in ICU (because their preceptors could not work nights and well I was there anyway) I always told them "No one dies on my shift, even if I have to plug myself to the monitor":D

Seriously folks,

Wholistic nursing is where it is at. Treat the patient (not the customer or consumer) and not the disease. Usually this means involving the family and friends. The more the merrier, I think.

Notice I spelled it with a W. That is because Holistic nursing is what I did when I was new and killed off a lot of patients.):rolleyes: Gary


104 Articles; 5,349 Posts

Specializes in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds.

I LOVE Virginia Henderson! Henderson's germinal definition of nursing was as follows:

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 could perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will, or knowledge. And to do this in such a way as to help him gain independence as rapidly as possible.


2,259 Posts

Specializes in LDRP; Education.

I myself was a fan of Gordon until in my graduate studies I learned about a long forgotten nursing theorist: Calista Roy. I am still learning about her works and theories - when I get a full understanding of her I will write more. :D


97 Posts

I also subscribe to the wholistic philosophy of nursing (love the new spelling!). I'm not as up on theorists as I used to be, but had the pleasure of meeting Jean Watson in '95! I was attending a conference in the UK (one of the highlights of my life!) and she was with us the entire time, accessable and delightful to speak with!

hoolahan, ASN, RN

1 Article; 1,721 Posts

Specializes in Home Health.

New spelling noted. :D I just hope I can remember that. :D

We had to choose a theorist in my BSN studies, and we had to relate our final project to a theory, choosing between Roy, Gordon, or Neuman. Roy was my second choice, but if you ask me why now, I can't tell you for the life of me. I do remember that the Neuman system's theory was just about the most confusing thing I ever read. But Gordon, I just clicked with that one.

Jenny P

1,164 Posts

Specializes in CV-ICU.

I loved Henderson also, and had the chance to meet her once at a conference back in the mid 70's. She blew me away with her caring and ethical approach to nursing (I don't remember if holistic was a buzz word back then, but it would probably fit for her views also). I'm out of the loop on some of the others mentioned here; I definitely do believe in the "not on MY shift" (as related to codes!) theory of nursing, however; and feel that is always a good philosophy/theory/policy!:D


820 Posts

My program is based on Jean Watson's Theory of Human Caring

MAJOR CONCEPTS - Ten Carative Factors

1. Formation of humanistic-altruistic systems of values: satisfaction through giving and extending of oneself.

2. Enabling and sustaining faith-hope: promotion of holistic nursing care through effective nurse-client relationships and promotion of wellness.

3. Sensitivity to self and others: as nurses acknowledge their own sensitivity and feelings, they are more helpful to others.

4. Developing a helping-trust relationship: involves congruence (being genuine, honest authentic), empathy, warmth and effective communication.

5. Promotion and acceptance of expression of positive and negative feelings: recognition that intellectual and emotional understandings of a situation differ.

6. Systematic use of the scientific problem-solving method for decision making: use of the nursing process; systematic; organized.

7. Promotion of interpersonal teaching-learning: informs client, places responsibility of health and wellness on client; promotes personal growth.

8. Provision for supportive, protective, and/or corrective mental, physical, sociocultural, and spiritual environment: recognition of influence that internal and external environment: recognition of influence that internal and external environments have on health and wellness of individuals.

9. Assistance with gratification of basic human needs: recognition of biophysical, psychophysical, psychosocial, and intrapersonal needs of self and client; refers to hierarchy of needs-low order needs must be met before higher needs.

10. Allowance for existential-phenomenological forces:

Regardless of what theory your practice is based on, remember the ANA defination if what nursing actually is:

"Nursing in the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual or potential health problems"

We, as nurses, are to treat the human, not the bacteria, virus, disease. etc. Humans are holistic beings, therefore it would only be prudent that we deliver holistic treatment :) Medicine focuses on the disease process, so it is up to us to concentrate on the HUMAN process :) Without us, patients would be the "MRSA in bed 2", WITH us, its "Mr. Smith in bed 2" :)

Take Care,



940 Posts

My philosopy is pretty simple. I believe in wholistic nursing you dont just treat the disease but the whole person. Don't forget you are also caring for the patients family as well. Provide plenty of compassion and kindness and never be afraid to touch someone in a caring manner. I feel it is fine to share ones personal experiences with the patient . I now work in L&D and find that this method works great here and is even more important than I originally thought. But it does apply to all areas, i have used it in hospice, oncology, med surg, ICU,ER, and postpartum and got great resonses in each area.

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