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Personal Nursing Philosophy

Delaware Technical and Community College

NUR 300 RN to BSN Transitions

Reneé S. Smallwood

November 14, 2017



My nursing philosophy is to provide the best care to all patients I encounter no matter the

circumstance. This will include self-evaluation of self, situation and the impact it may have as I

take on the journey from a registered nurse (RN) to a bachelor of science in nurse (BSN) degree.

According to Ernestine Wiedenbach’s nursing theory, there are four parts to clinical nursing

including philosophy, purpose, practice, and art (Petiprin, 2016). From an ethical stance, my

passion as a nurse includes being respectful and caring, maintaining a balanced life between my

career and home, managing conflict in a professional way, promoting teamwork while being a

team player and leader to patients and others. Having the best interest of the patient and self in

mind is vital as I explore feelings on the above and their impact as a continue to practice as an


Personal Nursing Philosophy

With the completion of my associate’s in nursing degree, I often find myself thinking

about the day I told myself and the people around me that I wanted to be a nurse. Though there

were some career changes along the way, I always came back to the desire to help others and

make a difference like the duties of a nurse. Nurses spend the most time with their patients and

are usually the first and last person patients see during their care or treatment. My values and

beliefs, personal wellness, my aim at conflict management, leadership, and other nursing

practices are reflected in this paper as I continue my journey as a nurse.

I have always been a person of respect and believe if you treat others with respect you

will get respect in return. I pride myself on doing my best at all times and treating everyone as an

individual while providing the best care possible regardless of race, sex, or finances. Though I

know I should treat everyone the same; there are times I think about the day I must address the

child molester, rapist, murderer, or terrorist. Will I treat the molester or rapist the same? Will I

avoid the patient or not provide the utmost care or respect leaving the things I value and believe

to be questioned? As the nurse, I should treat each patient equal, set my feelings aside, and be

the best nurse I pride myself on being. Growth and learning new things in life and my

professional career will lead my to be a well- rounded nurse. Beginning my career as a certified

nursing assistant (CNA), to Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), to now a Registered Nurse (RN), I

have learned a little bit about a lot through experience and education. As society change,

different cultures arise, technology advances and health care needs change keeping myself

educated with evidence-based practice (EBP), and nursing research will be a great benefit in my

nursing career.

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically.

Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education -Martin Luther King, Jr.”

(Venugopal, 2016). Continuing education will keep me informed and updated with the many

changes that take place in nursing daily. Practicing as a nurse and general education courses will

help me become a better advocate, leader, teacher, employee/co-worker, and listener. The field

of nursing requires lifelong learning to stay ahead of the changing health field. Life-long learning

keeps you confident, your brain and mind sharp, and is “…the most powerful weapon we can use

to change the world -Nelson Mandel” (Strauss, 2013). In addition to education, similar goals and

values of a nursing theorist like Ernestine Weidenbach, are rewarding to me and my career.

I can help those I initially did not agree with like the child molester or murder. Per nurse

theorist Ernestine Wiedenbach, “sound judgment is the result of the disciplined functioning of

mind and emotions, and improves with expanding knowledge…” (Petiprin, 2016). Weidenbach

quote is a powerful quote that speaks volumes. Without increased knowledge, one is unable to

grow as a person and make the right choices in life. With my passion for nursing, I can treat

anyone regardless without discrimination.

Ernestine Wiedenbach’s, “The Helping Art of Clinical Nursing” is similar and related to

my nursing philosophy. According to Weidenbach's philosophy, the patient and nurse come

together and develop a plan for patient wellness while including the four main parts of clinical

nursing: the art, practice, a purpose, and philosophy. Weidenbach's nursing theory is a well-

formulated nursing theory that identifies the patient as an individual that requires help from

many parts of the healthcare system. She believed a patient does not have to be sick or injured to

be a patient since nursing advice, care, and teaching could be considered as “help.” The patient

must want to seek help and understand their care as it applies to their current situation. The four

elements of her theory are further broken down to apply to the working nurse.

My philosophy of nursing represents personal beliefs and attitudes about life and how I

care for my patients. I agree in nursing practice that uses prior and current knowledge to provide

care to a patient causing me to believe firmly in education and ethical care, making up the art of

nursing. The art of nursing focuses on the patients’ needs and concerns which will assist in a plan

for the patient set forth by the nurse, other healthcare providers and includes personal patient

goals and preventing complications or new interests. The purpose of nursing is what the nurse

wants to accomplish, how the nurse feels about the situation and what the nurse feels should

come out of taking care of the patient. I believe this is genuine and true in my practice as a nurse.

To provide the most effective and safe treatment and care, I believe in treating the whole patient

with collaboration from the interdisciplinary team to provide the most effective treatment and

care. Often during treatment of a patient, there are times the small things are overlooked like

finances or family and friend support. I believe those little things are important because it may be

the difference in a patient paying to provide for their family or paying for medications that if not

taken may kill them. A patients physical, mental, and emotional factors should be considered and

focused on to yield positive outcomes. As I went through nursing school, I experienced different

environments, people, and patients who helped me understand how nursing beliefs, views, and

attitudes makeup and play a significant role in nursing. As a nurse, if we can focus on our patient

needs and concerns, yield positive outcomes, and use new and prior knowledge to care for the

patient, then we are giving the art of nursing.

It is often said nurses are the worst patients because we do not take care of ourselves but

on the other hand know the importance of staying healthy and caring for others. We often get lost

in trying to provide for others like family, friends, and even patients we forget about our

wellness. “Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a

healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process

of change and growth” (The Regents of the University of California, n.d.). Personal wellness

includes physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social wellness. Nurses must have

balance and be able to take care of themselves as this is the perfect start to excellent care and to

be a better nurse. To maintain one’s health, you should be aware of personal issues within

yourself. As a nurse, we should be able to identify when we can no longer carry out daily task

due to lack of sleep or not being physically fit. A nurse must learn and apply what they have

learned effectively to personal use, family and career development. Being able to make personal

decisions is important when taking care of the patient. Practicing these aspects makes it easier to

teach the patient in the future. It is not easy to teach a patient to stay active and eat a proper diet

if you lack in physical wellness. Self-awareness and self-acceptance are vital to personal honesty

and personal worth (Petiprin, 2016). You must know your issues and accept it to overcome the

illness and have a better outcome. The World Health Organization states wellness is “...a state of

complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or

infirmity (The Regents of the University of California, n.d.).” I believe in treating the whole

patient and taking time to care for oneself. Complete wellness is vital in nursing and can play a

role in how conflict is managed in the workplace.

Conflict is often unavoidable and can be found in one’s workplace, at home, and in any

setting. In nursing, conflict tends to arise due to disagreements in care and treatment. A person’s

conflict management style will impact how one will react if a situation was to occur. I would

consider myself to have a compromising conflict management style. I like to see everyone’s

views, how each person was affected while looking at the entire picture and I am always willing

to compromise to make others happy even when I do not agree. As a professional nurse, having a

“compromising” management style may be one of the most significant positive things about me.

I tend to stay neutral, listen to others while considering their feelings and opinions. Having these

positive attributes is a plus in the nursing field. I believe there are plenty of other things in the

world that deserve a fight and some things are not worth it. There is nothing wrong with agreeing

to disagree and it makes me, the other person, and the patient satisfied and safe.

Safety is important to oneself and most importantly our patients. As a nurse, the idea of

the unknown becomes a reality each day. Focusing on patient-centered care, teamwork and

collaboration, quality improvement safety, and informatics are excellent standards I believe in

making the healthcare field safe. Evidence-based practices are researched continuously and

made available to reduce risks to patients and care providers, and how to work in a safe

environment. I believe a person’s actions affect theirs and their patient's risk. QSEN defines

safety as to, “minimize the risk of harm to patients and providers through both system

effectiveness and individual performance” (Sherwood & Zomorodi, 2014). The QSEN

competencies are essential in making sure nurses have the education, skills, and attitude to

provide safe, adequate care. Excellent communication and identifying my strengths and

limitations are expectations that currently guide me in my current practice as a nurse. Effective

communication keeps all parties involved including patient and team members safe and allows

personal needs and preferences to be met. As a nurse knowing my strengths and limitations will

allow me to provide adequate patient care and reduce harm to my patient. Identifying personal

strengths and weakness will enable me to gain knowledge and become a well-rounded nurse.

Well-rounded nurses are great role models and leaders in the health field.

In a society where everyone tends to be alike, standing out shows an effective leader. A

leader provides direction and encourages others around them. Leadership qualities I display and

are proud of are my honesty, confidence, communication, confidence and factual attitude,

dedication, and loyalty. Nursing is not just a job to me; it is my career. A career I chose and

choose to be great at and go above and beyond what others expect from me as a nurse. I am the

individual who is confident yet humble. I believe my job as a nurse does not stop. I am always

thinking about if I could have handled a situation differently or if I just did my best, signs I view

as dedication. Leadership requires being a good listener and a guide to others, one of the arts of


My ethical stance and passion as a nurse included being a respectful and caring person,

maintaining a balanced life in my career, managing conflict in a professional way, providing the

utmost care while keeping my patients safe, and being a team player and a leader to patients and

others. “It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together”- unknown. My nursing

philosophy is an everyday guide that reminds me of my values, beliefs, and personal

expectations as I practice as a registered nurse.



Kim, W., & Mauborgne, R. (1992, July-August). Parables of Leadership. Retrieved from

Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/1992/07/parables-of-leadership

Petiprin, A. (2016). Ernestine Wiedenbach. Retrieved from Nursing Theory: http://nursing-


Sherwood, G., & Zomorodi, M. (2014). A New Mindset for Quality and Safety: The QSEN

Competencies Redefine Nurses' Roles in Practice. Nephrology Nursing Journal, 41(1),


Strauss, V. (2013, December 5). Nelson Mandela on the power of education. Retrieved from The

Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-



The Regents of the University of California (n.d.). What is wellness? Retrieved from UCDAVIS:


Venugopal, A. (2016, Septemeber 13). Education without values: A complete waste. Retrieved

from Medium: https://medium.com/@aiswaryavenugopal/education-without-values-a-



Nursing Philosophy

As I come to an end of my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, I am pleased

and excited about my progress and the educational journey I took this past year. The completion

of my BSN degree seemed so far away, and the coursework and clinical involved sometimes

made me feel this journey may not be what I hoped. I am happy to say I was wrong and have

learned and enjoyed myself along the way as I advance my career.

When I first started the program, I was nervous, and I wanted it to be over before it

started. I was not sure if I would be able to write a thorough APA paper as the last two years of

my life prior were dedicated to studying, clinical, and care plans. Long APA papers were not one

of my strengths, and I struggled in the beginning, but I had a goal to obtain my BSN and obtain

this degree by the time I was thirty-one. This goal is becoming a reality, and I find myself

becoming more and more excited each day.

When I started the registered nurse (RN) to BSN program, I developed a personal nursing

philosophy that has proven to be beneficial as I completed the required classes. My philosophy

was and still is to to provide the best care to all patients I encounter no matter the circumstance.

My passion as a nurse is to be respectful and caring, maintain a balanced life between school,

home, and now work, manage conflict in a professional way, promote teamwork while being a

team player and being a leader for patients and others. As I established my philosophy, I think I

knew the nurse I wanted to be, I knew how to get there, but wasn’t sure of where to start or if it

would be taught in my nursing practice or as I continued to educate myself. I found out that my

nursing philosophy and goals could only be met with teachings and practice. For instance, my

nursing philosophy included managing conflict in a professional way, being a team player, and

being a leader. When I first graduated from nursing school, and sometime before that, I would

hear I was not a team player, or I was not an easy person to talk to. When I heard these negative

things, I did not understand what was meant, and I just thought people were being negative. It

was not until I took a course like nursing leadership, nursing policy, and many other courses that

I realized the importance of being receptive and a person with leadership characteristics. For the

most part, personality and characteristics of a nurse were discussed in each of my nursing

courses. When things are repeated continuously I know it is of importance and now understood

how I carry myself as a person and as a nurse is reflected in my nursing practice and to others.

Last year I described myself as a leader because I felt I was honest, confident, a great

communicator, dedicated, and loyal. These were all great qualities I knew or thought I had but

there was more that needed to be learned, and it was the small things that made me see the bigger

picture. I know every nurse cannot be a leader even if they think they are. Like in the parable

“The Sound of the Forest”, “…when a ruler has learned to listen closely to the people’s hearts,

hearing their feelings uncommunicated, pains unexpressed, and complaints not spoken of, can he

hope to inspire confidence in his people, understand when something is wrong, and meet the true

needs of his citizens” (Kim & Mauborgne, 1992, para 7). To be a leader and a great practicing

nurse you must take care of yourself first to know how to take care of others. You must also be

able to have balance. As a nurse, we tend to carry a lot of other people issues on our shoulders,

and if we add it to our own problems, more issues could arise.

Nursing is not only a job but a lifelong career that is continually evolving for the better. I

have a passion for nursing and would like to remain confident yet humble. I want to remain

dedicated to myself and my patient. If I have the opportunity to be better, I want to do better. As

a gritty person, I like to preserve in my goals despite the obstacles I may face over time. In doing

better, I would like to get more involved in nursing research and evidence-based practice to

ensure I provide quality care all the time.

“It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together”- unknown. My

nursing philosophy is an everyday guide that reminds me of my values, beliefs, and personal

expectations as I practice as a registered nurse.