Nursing Philosophy Paper: Definition and Example of Philosophy of Nursing

Introduction: Nursing Philosophy Definition

Nursing philosophy forms the foundation of every nurse’s practice. It outlines the central beliefs and definitions associated with four components of nursing philosophy: the person, environment, health, and nursing. Understanding the nursing philosophy definition allows for setting practice standards and guidelines for more effective nursing care. The purpose of this nursing philosophy paper is to explore the personal philosophy of nursing, as well as its importance and examples. Additionally, the essay will compare the personal nursing philosophy to other nursing theories.

Personal Philosophy of Nursing: Factors Affecting Its Development

The main factor affecting the nurse’s personal philosophy in the context of his or her work. One example of this is Florence Nightingale’s Environmental nursing theory. Nightingale worked during the time when hygiene studies and practices have just started to become part of nursing care and proved to be effective in managing disease outcomes (Medeiros, Enders, & Lira, 2015). Hence, Nightingale argued that providing an appropriate environment was the key to facilitate recovery and promote the health of the patients (Medeiros et al., 2015).

Another factor that influences the nurse’s philosophy is his or her personal system of beliefs, including thoughts on the role of nurses and accountability. For instance, there are many nurses who believe that they are responsible for advocating for change and for facilitating the development of practices for better care, while others do not consider their global role and focus on individual patients instead.

Four Components of Nursing Philosophy


The need for nursing care is manifested in the person’s health troubles or inability to fulfill his or her own needs. Therefore, I believe that the patient is an individual who is at the core of the nursing process. The person struggles to live a healthy, fulfilling life due to a disease or condition and is in need of help, which is to be provided by the nurse.


I would define the nursing environment as a set of factors that affect the person’s condition or life in one way or the other. The factors can be individuals, such as living conditions, family relations, and culture, or global, such as the quality of air in the region and insurance provision. Environmental factors cannot be altered by the nurse, but they have to be taken into account when a nursing plan is developed. Addressing the environment and its influence on the person can provide for better health outcomes and improve the person’s quality of life.


The patient’s health is both the end goal of nursing care and the current circumstances of care. The aim of care is to either treat the patient’s condition or to support the patient to a level when he or she can live a fulfilling life and be part of the community. However, another aspect of health is the patient’s current health, which may restrict the success of care and impair a person’s life.


The nursing process, thus, is focused on mediating the effects of current health and the environment on the patient’s life, as well as on facilitating the person’s progress towards better health and life. Nursing care is a complicated process in which the nurse has to develop positive interpersonal and therapeutic practices, as well as to have excellent problem-solving skills. Effective nursing practice is the key to patient’s development, and nurses should be aiming to improve their work processes continuously in order to help patients.

Personal Nursing Theory

Nursing theories are the personal nursing philosophies developed by influential nurses in the past. One of the nursing theories that has caught my attention is Hildegard Peplau’s Theory of Interpersonal Relations. It was published in 1952 and became one of the most significant theories in psychiatric nursing (Petiprin, 2016). However, I believe that it can be applied to any area of nursing work, and it is very similar to my personal philosophy of nursing. According to Hildegard Peplau’s theory, the person is “a developing organism that tries to reduce anxiety caused by needs” (Petiprin, 2016, para. 2).

Similarly to my personal philosophy, Peplau defines the environment as a set of outside forces and that health refers to the end goal of helping the person to achieve creative, constructive, productive, personal, and community living (Petiprin, 2016). Another nursing theory that I find similar to my personal philosophy is Madeleine Leininger’s Theory of Transcultural Nursing, first appeared in 1975 (Scherman, 2017).

Transcultural nursing addresses the issue of globalization and is especially applicable to situations when nurses care for patients whose cultural background is different from their own (Scherman, 2017). Transcultural Nursing Theory stresses that the care provided to a person has to comply with his or her cultural values and beliefs (Scherman, 2017). In my personal philosophy of nursing, culture is one of the individual factors that constitute a person’s environment. Along with other environmental factors, culture should be taken into account throughout the nursing process.

Personal Nursing Philosophy Paper: Conclusion

Overall, I believe that my personal philosophy of nursing provides sufficient focus on all aspects that affect nursing care and treatment. I believe that the nursing process is not independent; it has to be developed and carried out with the factors that influence the person and his or her health in order to achieve better health outcomes. In addition, I believe that my nursing philosophy promotes the continuous development of nursing practices, which also leads to higher effectiveness of treatment.


Medeiros, A. B. A., Enders, B. C., & Lira, A. L. B. D. C. (2015). The Florence Nightingale’s Environmental theory: A critical analysis. Anna Nery School Journal of Nursing, 19(3), 518-524.

Petiprin, A. (2016). Hildegard Peplau theory. Web.

Scherman, J. M. (2017). What is transcultural nursing? Learn more about this critical aspect of healthcare. Web.

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