Are You Embodying Your Personal Philosophy of Nursing?

philosophy of nursing

Nurses have their own philosophy.

Some nurses are fully aware of the beliefs and values that influence their actions while others still need time to figure those things out. If you are still a student or you’re a new nurse, a little bit of introspection can help.

But, how exactly can you start?

Write your personal mission statement.

This is a common assignment in nursing school. Whether you’re in an undergrad or graduate school, you’ve probably been asked to write a personal philosophy about nursing.

This type of activity helps a person have a clearer definition of why he wants to be a nurse, what he believes about being a nurse, and how he can be the best nurse there is.

Once you have the answers to all those questions, you’ll have a strong foundation that can help you succeed in this profession.

Now, although writing a personal mission statement sounds easy, it’s actually the other way around.


Well, students and new nurses have this fear of being judged by their peers and their instructors. So, instead of writing their own philosophies, they tend to write down what they think their peers and instructors would love to hear.

This creates a fantasy that can make it harder for them to achieve a deeper understanding of what being a nurse is. In some cases, this illusion can also distort a nurse’s perception of the profession.

So, how do you prevent that from happening?

Here’s a step-by-step guide to defining your own philosophy of nursing:

Set aside a time for reflection

reflecting nursing philosophy

Before you can actually define your values and beliefs, you need to spend time understanding yourself. Set aside a time in your busy schedule where you can reconnect with the “why” of your life and career. Don’t allow anything to disturb you while you are reflecting your nursing practice.

Clarify your philosophy

clarify nursing philosophy

To clearly define your goals, answering a few questions might help. Here are a few examples:

  • What is nursing?
  • Why is it important?
  • What values make a great nurse?
  • What things or actions should nurses avoid?
  • What values should nurses possess?

Getting concrete answers to all those questions isn’t easy. In fact, it can take a while before you can figure them out. But once you have them, it’ll be easier for you to feel connected to your beliefs.

If those questions aren’t enough, you can consider focusing on these three factors when writing your philosophy.

What– This relates to your underlying values and beliefs about nursing.

Why- This provides direction and sense of motivation.

How– This helps you reflect on things that can open your heart and mind.

Now, remember this:

You don’t have to be too formal in your answers. You can write them any way you want as long as the idea is there.

Review your philosophy

reviewing nursing philosophy

Your philosophy of nursing can serve as a guide. Whenever you need to clarify something or make an important choice, don’t forget to review your philosophy. Be consistent with it and revisit it each time you want to stay in touch with your passion.

If need to put your own philosophy in context, check out what other nurses are saying in THIS discussion and in THIS essay. One of our favorites is from a contributor named Dikibo who shares her philosophy about Nursing:

*Leave home smiling.
*Infect clients and colleagues with smiles.
*Do all within your power to maintain smiling.
* At the end of the shift give “yes I made it smile”.
*Leave your office smiling.

See Also: What is Nursing – An Overview

Why Do You Need To Know Your Philosophy of Nursing?

Defining your philosophy of nursing isn’t just about having a guide in your career. You can also use it to overcome challenges.

For example, nurses work in a physically demanding and mentally exhausting environment. There’s always a continuous influx of patients that can make you forget your own needs. It can make you miss holidays and other important family events, too.

Without a clear philosophy, those things can easily force you to take off your nursing cap and say goodbye to being a nurse.

Your nursing philosophy gives you a reason, too. It helps you avoid burn out and encourages you to do your best every single day.

And you know what else?

Your philosophy in nursing can also push you to set higher and better goals for yourself. It can help you rediscover your passion for work and push you to always move forward.

See Also: 5 Tips to Make Your Career Change to Nursing