Please submit your Philosophy of Nursing paper in APA format with title page, abstract, main paper and and reference page. Assignment instructions and grading rubric are located under “Assignments” module Personal and Professional Philosophy,Thoughtful reflection of personal and professional values and beliefs 5 pts, little reflection 3 Description of two published works that support your philosophy of nursing. Description of work properly cited, including application of work to support philosophy and/or practice of nursing. 5 pts if not 2pts Description of how personal beliefs and values relate to professional philosophy. Description clearly stated, reflective of personal and professional values and beliefs. 3 pts not clear 2 pts The Journal of School Nursing DOI: 10.1177/105984050101700101 J Sch Nurs 2001; 17; 1 Janice Denehy Articulating Your Philosophy of Nursing http://jsn.sagepub.com The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com On behalf of: National Association of School Nurses Additional services and information for The Journal of School Nursing can be found at: Email Alerts: http://jsn.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Subscriptions: http://jsn.sagepub.com/subscriptions Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Permissions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Downloaded from http://jsn.sagepub.com at OhioLink on July 16, 2009 Articulating Your Philosophy of Nursing As the profession of nursing is dealing with rapid changes in knowledge and practice, the specialty of school nursing is attempting to articulate its value in the educational setting. Both the profession and specialty are maturing, and along with this natural process, nurses are clarifying their roles and scope of practice. As nurses examine their practice, they also are questioning what is fundamentally important to them as nurses and as individuals-their values and beliefs. This has become particularly critical as more and more nurses in all settings are finding that changing demands and expectations of the role are greater than the resources or number of hours in the day to accomplish what nurses would define as quality nursing care. Such demands are pushing nurses to examine their values and what drew them to the profession of nursing in search of balance and meaning in the work setting. One strategy nurses can use to affirm that their practice is in harmony with their value system is to write a personal philosophy statement. This might be general in nature, such as a philosophy that relates to life values; it could be a philosophy statement related to beliefs about the profession of nursing; or it might be a philosophy specific to school nursing. In each case, this activity will encourage nurses to clarify their values and then examine how their philosophy fits with their professional practice. Articulating a philosophy statement is an intellectual activity that requires careful thought, because values need to be identified, clarified, and prioritized. Once these values are identified, putting them together into a short, cohesive statement is a challenging process (Chitty, 2001). The first part of the process is identifying general values-values related to the nature of humankind and society. These are the core values held by an individual, which are few in number but may evolve as individuals mature and society changes. Examples of these core values may relate to the dignity of man, the sanctity of life, or values that give direction to our journey of life. Personal values are influenced by family, culture, religious orientation, education, and the choice of one’s life work. All of these factors contribute to who we are, what we believe, and more importantly, how we act. Next, values that relate to the profession of nursing are delineated. Ideas may come from the American Nurses’ Association’s code for nurses (American Nurses’ Association, 1985) or the Standards o f Professional School Nursing Practice (National Association of School Nurses, 1998) and may include such themes as caring, confidentiality, integrity, accountability, competence, and improving the quality of care. Other important values of the nursing profession are altruism, ethics, and professionalism. In addition, the roles nurses perform are often integrated into philosophy statements. Examples are caregiver, advocate, collaborator, case manager, health educator, counselor, leader, and researcher. Themes specific to school nursing relate to the population served-children, families, and staffand the settings where care is delivered-the school and the community. Specific goals of school nursing may be articulated and include the prevention of disease, the promotion and maintenance of health, and creation of an optimal environment for learning. Other important ideas are issues in today’s society related to the allocation of resources and the delegation of care. Finally, the philosophy statement should end with a few sentences of how personal values articulate with values about nursing. Concluding statements could relate to striving for balance and profession growth through continued learning. Caring for oneself as well as others is a critical issue for busy nurses, as is being a good role model for health in our homes, schools, and communities. The final statement often relates to how you hope to make a difference-in yourself or in your home, school, community, or the world. My first experience in articulating a philosophy of nursing was when I was completing a master’s degree in nursing of children. A class assignment forced me to synthesize my personal beliefs with what I had learned about caring for children and families. Although the requirements were for a short statement, the time taken to list these values and then organize them into a cohesive whole was daunting. What resulted was a meaningful statement that I still share with students today, 30 years later. This experience has inspired me to challenge others to take the same step and create their own personal philosophy of nursing. Downloaded from http://jsn.sagepub.com at OhioLink on July 16, 2009 2 Through the years I have assigned graduate students in my nursing education and child health nursing classes to write their own philosophy of nursing education or child health nursing. Most find this assignment a meaningful part of their professional growth and an appropriate capstone experience at the end of their master’s degree program. More recently, I have been teaching a course on the Art and Science of Nursing to beginning nursing students and have required them to write a philosophy of nursing. Their enthusiasm and ability to capture the essence of nursing and the many roles nurses perform in today’s health care system have been amazing, considering the point where they are in their career. As they complete their baccalaureate program, students will have an opportunity to update or rewrite their philosophy as they enter the profession of nursing. The box below has a short philosophy of life I recently created to provide students an example on how to capture some personal beliefs on paper. It pulls together some of the priorities that influence both my personal and professional life. Writing these down has helped me refocus my energies on what is really important to me, especially at a time when competing demands often overshadow important values and how my time is used. Readers, I encourage each of you to take some time as we enter a new year to create your personal philosophy of nursing. Consider the ideas presented in this editorial as a starting point in identifying what is important to you. Next, pull these ideas together in a short statement that reflects your personal and professional values. Each philosophy statement will be uniquely you. It may not be perfect or all inclusive, but it is an effort to clarify what you believe. As you review your philosophy, seriously consider how this statement will guide your practice as a school nurse. When you complete your philosophy, I encourage you to send me a copy. If I have a good response, I will share some of your ideas in a future editorial. Like life, a statement of philosophy is a work in progress. It is ever changing as we change and as the world around us changes. Saving earlier versions provides evidence of our personal and professional growth over the years. Making the effort to articulate your values in a one-page statement is a valuable learning strategy for nurses today as we strive to provide the best quality care to children and families. Frequently it gives us an opportunity to really examine what we believe and how this fits with our personal and professional lives. When there is not congruence between one’s philosophy and one’s personal or professional life, it provides the motivation to reconcile these differences. The development of a personal philosophy is an opportunity to explore what we believe. It is an inspiring, growth-producing experience. A philosophy statement expresses our unique values and goals that ultimately guide our practice as professional nurses. Janice Denehy, RN, PhD, Executive Editor
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