Personal Philosophy of Nursing
CUNY School for Professional Studies
I was born in Brooklyn, New York as the only daughter of two Haitian immigrants. Although they both lived comfortable, even affluent, lives in Haiti, they realized that this country was the best place for them to reach the upward mobility they desperately sought out of life. Nursing has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother worked her way from Home Health Aide to CNA to nurse. My aunt in Haiti has spent decades working as a nurse, serving in underprivileged communities and working in a scope of practice that some would consider to be a nurse practitioner. I attended Clara Barton High School for Health Professions where I was part of the LPN program while I was a high school junior and senior. I spent my formative years watching my mother struggle to the position she is in now and personally I faced many of those same challenges. In July 2012, I became an LPN. In November 2015, I graduated from Helene Fuld College of Nursing with my Associates Degree and became licensed as a registered nurse in January 2016. Most of my experience in nursing has been in long term care. Through this experience, I realized that I was coming into the homes of my patients and had to learn to treat it as such. I saw my residents more than their own family did. I was quickly introduced to family members as the "nursing home daughter." By developing a strong rapport with my residents, I was able to provide them with the best quality of care: care with them in mind. I currently work at a nursing home and rehabilitation center in Brooklyn on a short term skilled rehabilitation floor. My goal is to help patients reach a state of functioning that they were unable to reach previously due to debility and disease. The experiences that I have had in my nursing career have helped to shape my view and my practice of the nursing profession.
The American Nurses Association defines nursing as the "protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations" (ANA, 2015, p.10).
Nursing exists to bridge the gap between the clinical and compassionate. They seek to understand the emotions and fears that plague their patients in order to provide the best quality of care. Nurses play a role in utilizing evidenced based practice to ensure optimal health maintenance and health promotion. However, nurses play a deeper role than that. My personal philosophy is that nurses are first and foremost caregivers. Nurses are the ear that patients need when there's no one there to talk to. Nurses are the voices that advocate for the needs of their patients, regardless if they are contrary to one's own personal beliefs. I believe that nurses are here to provide heart into healthcare. Our role is to provide non-discriminatory, culturally competent care that reflects the evidenced based practice of our field in order to ensure health promotion, prevention and maintenance while also providing care with recognition to the complexities of human emotion and experience.
Nurses are perceived to be one-dimensional where the role of the nurse is consigned to administering medications, providing treatments and following orders. Doctors and primary care providers are viewed as the primary decision makers in regards to patient care. Patients are generally viewed as medically ignorant with no care or concern into the complexities of their disease process and whose only goal is to achieve wellness. Communities are seen as irrelevant to the health care process. These misconceptions about medicine and nursing have left a stigma on the healthcare world. Doctors and nurses form a part of the healthcare team which includes CNAs, PCTs and all those who are in close contact with the patients on a consistent basis. The healthcare team works collaboratively with one goal in mind: the needs of the patient. Nurses think critically and often independently to ensure that patients are receiving optimal care. Doctors often refer to the insight of nurses as they are the ones spending the majority of time with the patient. With access to technology at our fingertips, patients are becoming more and more educated about their disease process than ever before. One should never assume about the ignorance of the patient as many come from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Nurses serve as educators to guide them in their search for health literacy. Patients also come in to healthcare settings with fears, expectations and hopes about their care. Nurses take the time to develop relationships with their patients, learning about them in order to provide optimal patient centered care. The community can serve as both a help and hindrance to the healthcare experience. Diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, culture, availability of resources and community involvement by those in the health care field can have a direct impact on healthcare and the patient experience.
Major Domains in Nursing
The three major domains of nursing include person, health and the environment. These three core principles serve as the framework for our practice as nurses. The person represents the recipient of care due to a disease process influenced by genetics, lifestyle choices and environmental influences. The person also encompasses their culture, lifestyle, emotions, experiences and preconceptions about nurses, medicine and healthcare. Our job as nurses is to cater to all those aspects that comprise our patient. The World Health Organization defines health as "a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (WHO, 1946). However, health, to me, exists on a continuum with extremes of wellness and illness. One's ultimate goal is to achieve a physical state that is close to wellness. However our definition of wellness is influenced by culture and life experience. A general state of health can be achieved primarily through a unity of body and mind. The environment consists of internal and external factors that can influence both the state of health and the person. It involves an awareness of how the world and our actions in it can have an overall impact on us.
Humans, as a whole, continuously search and strive to maintain a state of health. A person's cultural and societal influences both have a strong impact on their perception of health and how to achieve it. Therefore, maintaining health must be tailored to the person's culture and their environment. The environment consists of other exterior factors that impact the maintenance of a state of health. Nurses are a part of the front line defense to help patients promote and maintain a state of wellness. One of the greatest challenges my colleagues and I face is maintaining empathy and compassion in a healthcare system driven by payment and reimbursement. Moving away from the bedside, nurses are transitioning into CEOs, primary care providers and clinical researchers. As nursing evolves, it is my hope and vision that nursing does not lose the core values centered on caring. Even as one leaves the bedside, I hope that nurses continue to keep the best interests of their patients at the forefront of their career. It is my determination to continue my education and advance my knowledge in order to provide competent care reflective of the dynamism of health sciences. In doing so, it is my hope to continue to serve as a part of the nursing field and serve on the forefront of maintaining caring, culturally competent and client focused healthcare.
American Nurses’ Association. (2015). Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice (3rd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.nursingworld.org/FunctionalMenuCategories/FAQs#def
Masters, K. (2017). Role Development in Professional Nursing Practice (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
World Health Organization. (1946). Constitution of the World Health Organization. Official Records of WHO, no. 2, p. 100. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/suggestions/faq/en/