Nursing Theories and Nursing Practice: Personal Nursing Philosophy

Table of Contents


The process of formulating a nursing philosophy revolves around reflection and self-discovery. Understanding oneself guides a nurse on the path to self-improvement. In my opinion, the purpose of a nurse is to construct a proper environment for a patient in order to facilitate the process of physical and mental healing. These necessities suffer during emergencies, disasters, and high-casualty situations. My personal philosophy is based upon the traditional meta paradigms of Florence Nightingale as well as Orem’s self-care theory.

Key Concepts

The key concepts of my nursing philosophy are as follows:

  • The patient is at the center of any healthcare-related effort.
  • The implementation of nursing philosophy must try and make up for the imperfections of the existing healthcare system.
  • The amount of assistance from a nurse must correlate with the state of the patient.
  • The environment and self-sufficiency are key to effective patient-centered healthcare.

These key concepts are further elaborated on throughout the paper.

Four Metaparadigms

The four key meta paradigms of nursing are Person, Health, Environment, and Nursing. My personal philosophy will use an amalgamation of principles of the two chosen theories as well as my own personal experiences in order to outline my understanding of these meta paradigms. As a firm believer in patient-centered care, I support the notion of a patient being an integral part of the healing process. The purpose of a nurse is to enable the patients to care for themselves while, at the same time offering all the required assistance (Smith & Parker, 2015). Orem’s theory of self-care has the dominant influence on my views.

My views regarding health are similar to those of Florence Nightingale. In the scope of her theory, Smith, and Parker (2015) define health as a combined effect of psychological, physiological, and environmental factors, which results in physical, mental, and emotional wellness as well as the capacity to utilize one’s abilities to their maximum potential. This definition of health is easy to understand and can be applied to the majority of healthcare settings.

The environment plays a central part in my nursing philosophy. As I understand it, the environment must not only enable the healing processes in a patient but also enable the patients to manage their own conditions and cope with their disadvantages. Both Nightingale and Orem pay great attention to the environment (Queiros, Vidihna, & Filho, 2014). While Nightingale’s theory focuses on the basic necessities such as warmth, cleanliness, and fresh air, Orem stresses the importance of the environment possessing qualities that enable patient autonomy.

In regards to nursing, I believe that the role of a nurse is to place a patient in the best conditions possible, provide professional assistance, and enable both long-term and short-term recovery. When the patient is in pain, I am to alleviate it. When the patient is stable, I must facilitate their healing process. When the patient is capable of taking care of their own needs, I must teach them to do so more effectively. When the patient is healed, I must teach them to take care of themselves and ensure long-term health. These goals resonate with Orem’s and Nightingale’s understanding of nursing (Smith and Parker, 2015).

Applicability to My Current Nursing Practice

I can see my personal philosophy being useful in my current nursing practice in Miami. As it stands, the hospital I am working at is suffering from understaffing due to high rates of turnover caused by increased workloads, affection fatigue, and professional burnout (Duffield, Roche, Homer, Buchan, & Dimitrelis, 2014). Since my philosophy is focused on the environment as well as on enabling patients to help themselves, it should provide a partial solution to understaffing. At the same time, I realize that self-care and the environment alone will not solve the systematic problem of turnover and burnout in nurses. However, it should free up some time for me to focus on the quality of provided care.

Strengths and Limitations

Due to the focus on self-help, basic necessities, and the environment, my nursing philosophy would best be applied to healthcare settings and situations where the amount of personnel and resources are limited. These situations usually occur during emergencies, disasters, and other cataclysmic events that disrupt the pristine conditions of hospitals and other controlled environments. Miami is a major port city in Florida, which is highly susceptible to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and other forces of nature. During these emergencies, nurses need to be able to provide assistance to as many patients as possible. The focus on self-help, patient empowerment, and the environment would be the most reasonable strategy here. My personal nursing philosophy, thus, would be applicable to long-term care centers as well as to field hospitals, shelters, and emergency departments.

One big limitation of my nursing philosophy is a lack of focus on interpersonal relationships with the patients and their families. My nursing philosophy is aimed to influence the environment and enable patient autonomy, which is best applicable in scenarios where I would have to take care of large groups of patients. Since I will be tasked to help all the patients, I may be short on time to be able to form interpersonal relationships and deliver individualized comfort.


My personal philosophy of nursing is based on my own professional experiences as well as the knowledge of Miami and Miami-Dade County. In developing this philosophy, I borrowed from Nightingale’s and Orem’s theories of care. Although my paradigm has several limitations in regards to psychological awareness and interpersonal relationships with the patients, I will be looking for ways to make up for these limitations.


Duffield, C.M., Roche, M.A., Homer, C., Buchan, J., & Dimitrelis, S. (2014). A comparative review of nurse turnover rates and costs across countries. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(12), 2703-2712.

Queiros, P.J.P., Vidihna, T.S.S., & Filho, A.J.A. (2014). Self-care: Orem’s theoretical contribution to the nursing discipline and profession. Revista de Enfermagem Referencia, 4(3), 157-163.

Smith, M. C., & Parker, M. E. (2015). Nursing theories and nursing practice (4th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

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