Personal philosophy of nursing

Personal philosophy of nursing is intrinsic beliefs, thoughts, and values that one has towards the nursing profession. Identifying your philosophy helps you define your purpose and motivation. When defining your philosophy, there are three main questions that you should ask yourself; what are your beliefs about nursing? Why did you decide to pursue nursing? How can you achieve your goals and impact society through nursing? These three questions will help you reflect on your beliefs and values and give you a sense of direction.

It is important to define your philosophy in the early stages of your career life. This will increase your work efficiency in the workplace. It will also help you attend to patients holistically. Attending to patients holistically means you attend to their physical, spiritual and mental health. A positive and good patient-nurse relationship is essential in this holistic approach. By assessing the feelings of the patient, you create a rapport and the patient will not hesitate to open up.

Developing a personal story and identifying your skills and traits is the best way to begin your journey of figuring out your philosophy of nursing, for instance, if you have a burning desire for helping and caring for others, particularly those with injuries this might be enough proof that nursing is your calling. Use these skills to help society.

Identifying your philosophies helps you avoid burnout and overcome challenges in the workplace such as work pressure. It also helps you achieve your goals both short term and long term. It strengthens your skills, attitudes, and beliefs leading to success and satisfaction in your career life.

These beliefs that form personal philosophies are sourced from what you learned in class as a nursing student, ideologies you gather through interactions with other health professionals and beliefs you get through first-hand experiences when offering medical care to patients. Nursing students need to discover their philosophies about nursing. This will not only help them develop a different perception and a new way of thinking but it is also a great guide during job interviews.

Although most people struggle with identifying their purpose for years, defining your beliefs, values and thoughts of nursing will not only connect you to your career goals but it will also unfold your passion and develop your skills.


Whitman, Brenda L., and Wanda J. Rose. “Using art to express a personal philosophy of nursing.” Nurse Educator 28.4 (2003): 166-169.

Denehy, Janice. “Articulating your philosophy of nursing.” (2001).

Macleod Clark, Jill, Jill Maben, and Karen Jones. “Project 2000: perceptions of the philosophy and practice of nursing: shifting perceptions—a new practitioner?.” Journal of Advanced Nursing 26.1 (1997): 161-168.



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