Introduction to Professional Nursing Practice

Developing your own Philosophy of Nursing


As you are starting your nursing formation, you should be developing your own personal philosophy of nursing. Your philosophy will reflect your values and ideals, and will likely expand as you progress through your coursework and begin your career. It is not a complex task. You will ask yourself some very basic questions such as “What is nursing?” and “Why do I practice nursing the way I do?”

Below is an example of one nurse’s philosophy (Black, 2020)

  • I believe that the essence of nursing is caring about and caring for all human beings who are unable to care for themselves.
  • I believe that the central core of nursing is the nurse/patient relationship
  • I am individually accountable for the care I provide, for what I fail to do and know. There I pledge to be a lifelong learner
  • Human beings generally do the best that they can. When they are uncooperative or unpleasant, it is usually because they are frightened; therefore I will remain pleasant and nonjudgmental and try to understand the patient’s perception of the situation.
  • I realize that my cultural background affects how I deliver nursing care and that my patient’s cultural background affects how they receive my care. I try to learn as much as I can about each individual’s cultural background and preferences.
  • I will strive for a balance of professional and personal responsibilities. I will take care of myself physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually so I can continue to be a productive care giver.

Use this guide to write your own nursing philosophy on a separate sheet of paper. Please answer in full sentences as you reflect on your practice this semester and what you would like to do in the coming semesters.

Purpose:  To write a beginning philosophy that reflects the beliefs and values of {your name and date}

  • I chose nursing as my profession because nursing is……………….
  • I believe that the core of nursing is…………………
  • I believe that the focus of nursing is……………….
  • My vision for myself as a nurse is that I will……………
  • To live out my philosophy of nursing, every day I must remember this about:
    • My patients
    • My patients’ families
    • My fellow health care professionals
    • My own health