How to write a philosophy of nursing essay

How to write a philosophy of nursing essay

When pursuing nursing as a student and a professional, there are expectations and standards you must have. Putting this into an essay either for school or a job application might be troublesome. Do you need help learning what the philosophy of nursing essay entails? How to write a philosophy of nursing essay:

You may get stuck on what philosophy is and how to create one. This is why you need to read this article. It will teach you everything there is to know about a “my philosophy of nursing essay.”

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Nursing definition

philosophy of nursing essay

Answering the question “what is nursing” is complicated. This is because different definitions are depending on one’s values. The most conventional definition is that nursing is an art and a science that engages both the mind and heart.

nursing is the autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, sicknesses, groups, and communities. It includes prevention of illness, care of the ill, disabled, and dying people. Nursing practice is based on respect for human dignity and intuition for patients’ needs.

Patterns of knowing in nursing

Developed by Carper, the patterns represent the complexities and diversity involved in nursing as a practice. They are used to show your perspective and the significance of your professionalism.

The patterns of knowing are interdependent. You cannot consider one and leave out the rest. To fully understand the philosophical definition of nursing, all of them need to work together. The patterns of knowing in nursing are;

  • Ethics, which focuses on the morality of specific nursing actions as a practice
  • The personal knowledge you possess about nursing and your patient
  • The aesthetics or art of nursing
  • The science of nursing, also known as empirics

The four patterns of knowing show conversance in professional knowledge, nursing ethics, science, and creativity. Carper answered the question “what is nursing” using these patterns. According to him, nursing depends on;

  • Scientific knowledge of human behavior in health and sickness
  • The esthetic perception of crucial human experiences
  • The personal understanding of the unique nature of individuality
  • The capacity to make choices in real and dire situations that require moral judgment.

The nursing metaparadigm

They are also known as the four components of nursing philosophy. The four meta paradigms are interrelated and feed into your perspective and theory of nursing. They comprise of;

  • Environment
  • Nursing
  • Person
  • Health

They were introduced by Hardy in 1978 to create a comprehensive and compound definition of nursing as a profession. The four meta paradigms are the foundation of the philosophy of nursing essay. They represent the primary elements of all the existing nursing theories.

When writing your personal philosophy of nursing essay, you should consider all four components. Examine how they interact with each other and how they are connected to your values and beliefs. You need to understand what each component means and what they represent.


This focuses on the surroundings of the patient and includes internal and external factors that have influence. It also examines all negative and positive conditions of the surrounding that might affect the patient.

Physical and social factors such as family, friends, and partners are part of the environment. The condition of the hospitals or facilities where the patient receives healthcare is also vital.


This caters to the patient’s practices, goals, roles, functions, and delivery of care. The nurse’s characteristics, actions, and attributes are examined regarding how they affect the services provided. The ultimate goal is to improve and maximize patient care without compromising other important parts of the service.


They are also referred to as clients or human beings. They are the recipients of nursing and healthcare services. They may be an individual, group, family, or community.


This is defined as the level of wellness or illness that the client is currently experiencing. The wellness level varies for each patient, affecting the health care provider, the clinical settings, and the necessary level of service.

The person is the central focus of the nursing meta paradigms. Each concept is defined differently in various nursing theories. The definition is influenced by multiple factors affecting the theorists. These factors include;

  • The orientation of the theorist
  • Their nursing experiences
  • Their nursing philosophy and view

How to define philosophy

The most direct philosophy definition is the love of wisdom. Philosophy is a mental activity you take part in when trying to understand fundamental truths about yourself and your world. Philosophy pushes you to ask questions, seek answers, and argue out different perspectives.

Philosophy aims to think sharply and clearly through a set of facts. It prompts you to think about what you know and what is real.

How to form a philosophy

Your personality influences your philosophy. This means that your philosophy is already a part of you. As a nurse, you already have a view and opinion about medicine and healthcare unique to you.

You may never consciously think about it, but you have already formed philosophies and theories about different phenomena surrounding life. Your philosophy about nursing and medicine is bound to continue changing and developing. 

As you go through training, learn what nursing is all about and begin practicing, your knowledge on the subject will increase. This will form your philosophy and develop it further. It might help to jot down your philosophy as you begin your training and develop it as you go.

Philosophy paper outline

This is the general outline of a philosophy paper. It may vary depending on the subject or institution you are writing for. This outline was designed to give you a generalized idea of how to go about it. It will keep your paper logical and make it easier for you and your reader to follow the progress. This is the overall structure of a philosophy paper;

  • Introduction
  • Argument
  • Objection
  • Response
  • conclusion

The introduction is the first part of all kinds of essays. It should be three to six sentences long, depending on the general length of your paper. Use your introduction to present your topic. You can incorporate another philosopher’s words or something you have studied before.

Under argument, use logical methods to research and describe your position based on the topic. Give your reader a sensible channel on how you have arrived at the conclusion you believe to be true. Make your argument persuasive to sway your reader into adopting your point of view.

An objection is a part of the essay that is exclusive to philosophy essays. In this section, you need to anticipate the most controversial objection that can be made to your philosophy. Present that argument in your essay.

The response section is used to answer or counter-argue the objection. Prove that the objection you discussed is irrelevant and invalid. Remain logical and use facts to convince your audience. Show them that your philosophy or theory remains true.

Your conclusion should consist of three to six sentences as well. Instead of introducing new ideas, use your conclusion, to sum up, everything you have discussed in your essay. Remind your reader why you believe in your argument and why they should too.

What is the philosophy of nursing essay?

There are many definitions of a philosophy of nursing. The most straightforward is a combination of nursing and philosophy.  Other definitions include;

A nursing philosophy is a nursing approach that is a product of the daily lives of individual nurses. The nurse will use their philosophy of nursing to explain various concepts such as;

  • what they believe being a nurse is
  • the roles nurses play in the medical and wellness field
  • how they interact with patients
  • the moral standing expected from nurses during critical situations

A philosophy of nursing ppt provides the nurse with guidance in their professional practice. You will know what lines shouldn’t be crossed as a nurse and what circumstances are considered exceptions.

A nursing philosophy is also a statement that declares your beliefs, values, and ethics as a medical practitioner providing healthcare services. Although nursing philosophy may seem only helpful in academics, it is vital in keeping you focused and grounded. A philosophy of nursing gives you an approach for every patient and embodies your character as a nurse.

It can also be defined as a statement that establishes a nurse’s motivation, perspective on education, practice, and ethics. According to this definition, a philosophy shapes your everyday choices and the theories you apply in your practice.

According to Peggy Chinn, nursing philosophies and theories are based on personal beliefs and affect your decisions, reactions, and actions. This is why it is important to identify what your philosophy of nursing is. You can do this by participating in various exercises and writing a philosophy of nursing essay.

Different types of nursing philosophy essays

There are different types of personal philosophies of nursing essays. They depend on which level you are writing for, who your readers will be, and at what stage of nursing you are. Some of these types include;

Personal philosophy of nursing essay for students

In this case, you are writing this essay as a learner. You are not yet a nurse by profession. This means your paper should be about the skills, beliefs, and values you think a nurse should represent. When pursuing a career such as nursing, it is important to ask yourself why.

Seeking this answer helps you develop your personal philosophy of nursing college essay. Writing a “what is your personal philosophy of nursing essay” enables you to define your passion and reason for pursuing nursing.

Understanding your purpose and reason gives you motivation as you study towards your dream. This is why most institutions make sure their student write this essay at least once. You will become emotionally and mentally connected to your job.

A philosophy of nursing for practicing nurses

The term practicing nurse means that you have completed your education and are a registered nurse working in a hospital. At this point, you may think that a personal philosophy is irrelevant. However, you need it at this stage more than you did before.

As a nurse, the challenging work conditions you face may cause emotional drainage. Your patients and their next of kin focus on the patient’s recovery and healing rather than your wellbeing. Your beliefs and philosophy will anchor you in times of distress or when you lose a patient.

You will go through challenges and tests that will push you to your limits. It is said that a nurse must overcome a series of demands to provide top-quality services. Some circumstances will test your patience or require extra resilience. Such factors include;

  • high pressure and emergencies
  • aggressive or hostile family members of the patient
  • an uncooperative patient
  • a constant flow of physically challenging tasks
  • long working hours

Developing and maintaining an informal essay for your philosophy will strengthen you and remind you why you became a nurse. Revisit your philosophy regularly to stay in touch with what drives you and helps you overcome these challenges.

Reviving your goals and reminding yourself what’s important helps you attain new goals and achieve new milestones in your career. You become a source of inspiration to your friends, family, and colleagues.

Redefine your philosophy and revisit it to avoid burnouts and motivate yourself to do your best work. You will also have the focus to reach your long-term goals as a nurse.

How does a philosophy of nursing essay help your career?

  • It helps you capture all your goals and beliefs in your nursing profession
  • It gives you a deeper connection to your ambition and motivation
  • Your philosophy helps shape you as a nurse and gives you direction even for tough decisions
  • It can help you discover which skills you want to specialize in and strengthen to make you better in your field

Challenges of writing a good philosophy of nursing essay

If this is the first time you have been assigned such an assignment, you have no idea what is expected of you. You do not know how to develop a philosophy or apply it in an essay. This means that you have to start learning from scratch, which takes a lot of time.

Most people struggle to find a good topic for their personal philosophy of nursing essay. This is not a common essay. It is strictly for a specific course and a particular type of essay.

Philosophy essays are not like commemorative speech topics that are available in abundance. Finding a topic may be complicated. Here are some philosophy of nursing essay topics you can use to brainstorm;

  • Extensive research concerning violence in nursing
  • Relationship between nursing and Christianity
  • An elaborate analysis of the nursing process
  • What I consider the most vital part of the nursing process
  • Ethical problems faced in the nursing process
  • The strengths and limitations of the nursing practice
  • Why I chose to do nursing as a course
  • What my philosophy of nursing is
  • How does self-esteem play into nursing?
  • The central concepts of a successful nursing philosophy

When you choose a broad topic, you will struggle with the research process. The information you present risks being irrelevant and impersonal. This essay will not fully portray your philosophy.

choosing a shallow or restrained topic makes the research futile. You will not find enough information or inspiration to come up with a personal philosophy. find a topic that is just right.

If this essay is new to you,  it might be hard to know how to structure or organize it. This essay does not entirely follow the same format as other essays. failure to structure it, it may lose its function as a philosophy paper.

You might also find yourself struggling to formulate sentences and paragraphs the right way. Because of the nature of this essay, you should use the first pronoun to describe personal beliefs and views. Your sources should also be included in a way that they support your philosophy of nursing.

How to create a philosophy of nursing

The first step towards identifying your philosophy is to analyze your beliefs and values concerning nursing. Some of the questions that can guide you in the process include;

  • How does science influence your nursing practice?
  • What is nursing, and what does it mean to you?
  • What does health mean to you?
  • Why did you choose to nurse among all other professions?
  • What role does nursing play in society?
  • How does art impact nursing?
  • How do your values and standards relate to professional nursing practice?
  • What is the meaning of life, and what is its importance?
  • How does health impact societal functioning?
  • How do you relate with your patients?
  • What do you think is the most important part of nursing?
  • How does the nursing code of ethics guide your practice?
  • What are my beliefs, theories, and values as a nurse?
  • Which qualities and skills will make you stand out as a nurse?

How to write a philosophy of nursing essay

The questions above are meant to give insight into what is important to you and your nursing philosophy. Your philosophy may change over time as you gain more knowledge and grow in your profession. It is important to document these changes to remind yourself of your goal and where you are coming from. Here is a procedure you need to follow to write a nursing philosophy essay;

 Step 1: give a personal definition of nursing

Begin your essay on my philosophy of nursing by defining what nursing means to you personally. Do not look for formal definitions of nursing. Write from your own thoughts and views. Remember, philosophy papers are intimate and personal.

It is not about the logical explanation instead, it focuses on you as an individual. Tell your reader why you chose the nursing field instead of any other branch of medicine. Convince your reader that this is where your passion lies.

Step 2: include a personal story

Create a nursing philosophy paper outline based on the story to highlight your traits, characters, beliefs, values, and skills. It could also be about your passion for the job. This story should show why you embody the ideal nurse and how you execute your philosophy of nursing. It should paint you as a good and well-informed nurse whose services are guided by principle.

Step 3: talk about your future plans

Elaborate how you intend to use your job to impact your society. How will you use your profession as a positive tool for social change? Discuss the aspects of society you feel have a gap and show how you intend to be part of the solution.

Show your reader the bigger plan you have for yourself and the community you live in. Use your profession to provide better medical services for underprivileged and underdeveloped communities. You can also try to make an impact in the home care environments.

Step 4: highlight your values and skills

Remind your reader of the values and skills you possess that make you stand out. Mention the ones you consider most important. You can tie these qualities to your past, present, or future plans.

How to find good personal philosophy of nursing essay examples

Even with help and tips on how to write a philosophy of nursing essay, you might find yourself struggling. In such cases, going through several essay examples will help you get a clear way to maneuver the paper. Here are some tips for finding the most helpful examples;

  • Find written samples posted on relevant websites
  • Ask your administrator for some sample essays you can read for insight
  • Ask an academic writing company to write an example essay for you
  • Ask from relevant and nursing-related blogs if someone can give you a good philosophy of nursing essay sample

Here is a nursing philosophy examples portfolio that can help you formulate a philosophy for yourself;

Florence Nightingale

Her philosophy states that a patient’s environment should be changed to allow for nature to work on the patient.

Joanne de Guia-Rayos

According to her, active participation with other people is required to provide a compassionate healing environment for the patient. A nurse should be able to identify with a patient on some level to give them quality health care.

Bradi Dahlin

This philosophy stated that nurses have a responsibility to the public to provide safe, holistic, and patient-centered care. Patients should not be viewed as room numbers or medical conditions. They are individuals who require individualized attention and care.

Megan McGahan

She believes that nursing is more than treating an illness. It is focused on delivering quality patient care that is well suited to the unique needs of every patient. She had an undeniable desire to help those in need with commitment.

Vanessa Morton

She highlights the milestones and changes she has experienced while transitioning from a student of nursing to a registered nurse. She believes that her ethics will continue to change as she progresses in her career. She also acknowledges that factors like the environment, diverse patient population, and role as a professional nurse have changed her views.

Closing comments

At each stage of your nursing journey, your views and beliefs will be influenced by different factors. It is important to maintain your philosophies to maintain your ethics and values. Writing a philosophy of nursing may be complicated, but it is the best way to remind yourself.

This article has taught you how to write a philosophy of nursing essay. However, if you are still getting stuck, you can reach us for more assistance.

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