What does nursing philosophy have to do with your practice and how you practice as an advanced practice nurse?

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What does nursing philosophy have to do with your practice and how you practice as an advanced practice nurse?

Philosophy, or a type of mindset, as discussed in our book (Butts & Rich, 2015, pg 24.), is the underlying logic and ethical background that guides nursing practice. Nursing philosophy is composed from all the reasoning, rationale, and knowledge instilled in the nursing student so that it is carried forward to project the scientific basis and values molded by clinical experience. Nursing theories are used to help explain reasons for cause and effect of human behavior. Both philosophy and theory are important to nursing, especially advanced practice nursing because of their ever growing presence in the health care world. As nurse practitioners are becoming more necessary to be primary providers, both in rural and urban populations, and both primary care and specialty settings, the philosophy of caring for people needs to reign firm and true.

An important part of my own person nursing philosophy stems from being raised in a home with morals such as ‘doing unto others as you would have others do unto you’. I know I am not alone on difficult days where you have to dig deep and remind yourself of why you became a nurse in the first place. My own nursing philosophy has a lot of emotional support and stems from the ideas that this particular patient is a grandmother, a sister, a loved one of someone else and deserves great care. I also am a champion for education, and providing the tools to the patient in order to help better care for themselves when they leave our care. In the article by Hountras (2014), she discusses the importance in her own guided practice, and about educating new nurses and being a mentor as they develop their skills. I agree with this also and how much of a positive influence nurses can have on new nurses, students and patients. According to Butts & Rich (2015) providing care, educating and progressing the profession of nursing are all encompassed in a necessary societal duty we have within our discipline.

A final philosophy I implement into my nursing practice is advocating for patient self care. This is a branch of the education I already discussed, however this aspect of it goes further to empower the patient, providing resources and community support groups among any other necessary resources to set up the patient for optimal success. Dorethea Orem’s self care model is one I have always been found of because it does not place the provider drivers seat that control the patient’s health. In an article by Thrasher (2002), she discusses how Orem’s theory model promotes self care so that the person (if capable) should engage in learning about new health issues, be motivated to participate in future preventative scenarios and invest in reaching realistic goals along the way. This gives the patient more control over their health and treatment, allows them to understand they are part of the preventative primary health care, and that we have some role and determination in our own outcomes.

Butts, J.B., & Rich, K.L. (2015). Philosophies and Theories for Advanced Nursing Practice (2nd ed.). Page 11. Burlington, MA: Jones & Barlett Learning.

Hountras, S.C., (2015). What Guides Your Nursing Practice? Journal of Christian Nursing, 32(3), 179-181.

Thrasher, C. (2002). The primary nurse practitioner: advocate for self care. Journal Of The American Academy Of Nurse Practitioners, 14(3), 113-117. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-7599.2002.tb00101.x

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