How Core Values Played a Role in
My Personal Nursing Philosophy
Philosophy of nursing, developed Leddy and Hood, can be defined as the intellectual and affective outcomes of the professional nurses efforts to understand the ultimate relationship among humans, environment, and health; to approach nursing as a scientific discipline; to integrate a sense of values into practice; to appreciate esthetic elements that contribute to health and well-being; and to articulate a personal belief system about human beings, environment, health and nursing. This philosophy holds nurses true to their core values. Identifying our own core values will assist us in developing our personal nursing philosophy; therefore, the changes we make in our life will be based from these foundational values.
How Core Values Played a Role in My Personal Nursing Philosophy
Nursing has been called the oldest of arts and the youngest of professions. Human beings of both sexes have a natural tendency to respond to helplessness or a threat to life from disease or injury (Donahue, 1996). Both men and women are lead to the nursing profession for a multitude of reasons. Some embark on the profession to become successful, to give back to their community and for others it is to make a contribution to another??™s life. My journey into the nursing profession began when our country was under attack by terrorist. In 2001, I wanted to give of myself and help others to fulfill their goals and have peace of mind and spirit. I began a long journey, one without an end in mind. I chose the Nursing profession as my life path not just a career choice. This was not a choice I made overnight. I had to decide what was important to me at that time in my life. I had to consider how my decision would affect my family and my personal core values. But what are core values
Values are traits or qualities that are considered worthwhile; they represent an individual??™s highest priorities and deeply held driving forces as defined by Healthfied (n.d.). Each individual has their own set of values. These are what determine which aspects of life we hold as important or beneficial. Our values help determine our tastes, our way of life, our entertainment, our social, political and religious interactions. Some values we hold may be superficial, transitory or fitting solely in the moment in which we find ourselves. Other values are more fixed and may stay with us through our life; these are our core values. Our core values are those we hold with us throughout life (Woods). My core values have always centered on my family and friends. These values I hold dearly: family, success, the feeling of self worth and
the ability to give, not only of myself, but the ability of a team to influence others and give back to society. I consider my values a work in progress. The direction I have taken in life has influenced my personal core values, thereby influencing my nursing core values.
One great challenge in the nursing field is how to appropriately incorporate our own values and beliefs into the professional practice. Identifying the core values of nursing will greatly influence an individual??™s nursing practice. As defined by the National League for Nursing Core Values (2007), caring, integrity, diversity, and excellence are the four dynamic and integrated core values in promoting health, healing, and hope in response to the human condition. As a nurse I care that my patients receive the correct medications, the right procedure and the best possible nursing care that I can provide. It is my drive to provide the best patient care that will help the patient to achieve their goals and that the patient is comfortable and has dignity during the process. It is during the transition from being cared for, to caring for others, and providing care for anyone that is in need that our core values are being defined.
My personal nursing philosophy has evolved as I have incorporated my own values and beliefs into my profession. My nursing philosophy has changed as my environment, circumstances, and my station within the corporate level has changed. The dynamics of these changes have not always been apparent to me. But have been emphasized through every day process change, decisions, and through internal and external results of these changes. Leddy and Pepper (2003) defined philosophy of nursing as the intellectual and affective outcomes of the professional nurses efforts to understand the ultimate relationship among humans, environment, and health; to approach nursing as a scientific discipline; to integrate a sense of values into practice; to appreciate esthetic elements that contribute to health and well-being; and to articulate a personal belief system about human beings, environment, health and nursing.
Through my practice as a new nurse to a tenured nurse I learned my role in my environment and I began to grow; grow as a nurse and as a professional. I was no longer the ???pill pusher??? and ???go getter??? that is known of a new nurse. This transformation from new nurse to professional nurse incorporated what I learned in school into my professional practice. I had finally stepped into my role and was able to apply my knowledge into practice. I became a patient advocate. I finally understood what was meant by being authentically present at the bedside of my patients. During this transition I took on many new roles: charge nurse, nurse educator, mentor, preceptor and leader. It was up to the tenured nurses to demonstrate the professional nurse role. Physicians and Nurse Managers relied on us for patient assessments in a critically advanced understanding of care. Trust among the professionals is earned through hard work, staying up to date, being authentically present with our patients, and providing the best care to our patients; as well as, being there for the healthcare team. I was living my personal nursing philosophy. I strived to be the leader that teaches and allows everyone else to grow, a leader that understands the hardships and joy of caring for patients, and a leader that sets back and allows the entire team to be recognized for excellence in patient care. I was a leader that was proud of the entire team.
After the birth of my daughter, I returned to work. I didn??™t have the same enthusiasm for patient care. Something had changed within me. I still cared about my patients, but I needed to touch base with my core values again. I needed to feel a since of accomplishment within my profession. I believe theorist Dr. Jean Watson when she stated, ???A caring environment is one that offers the development of potential while allowing the person to choose the best action for himself or herself at a given point in time,??? (Current Nursing 2010). Deciding how to develop myself professionally brought an opportunity and a challenge outside of my everyday norm in the profession. Through research and organizational changes I learned of another element in nursing, informatics. I was asked to participate in an organizational change involving electronic medication administration utilizing a barcode administration system. This new path would give me something to strive for and therefore; would allow me to touch the lives of both nurses and patients, and would also give Nursing Administration the tools they needed to justify monies spent on a system that emphasized patient safety. I wanted to be a part of this transition within our organization.
My Core values keep me grounded and assisted me in holding myself accountable to my own personal nursing philosophy. It is my goal, in this profession, to strive to provide the highest quality care to patients, to provide professional development opportunities for myself and my team, to hold myself and my team members accountable to our nursing Code of Ethics and core values, and to demonstrate autonomy at all levels in an organization that impact patient care including information technology.
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The National League for Nursing Core Values. (2007). Core Values. Retrieved July 2, 2010 from
Woods, Douglas. (n.d.). Personal Core Values. Ezine Articles. Retrieved July 3 from