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Personal Philosophy of Nursing

Deisy Herrera Cortes

Dr. Christine Turner

Synthesis for Nursing Practice NUR4140

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

October 27, 2019

“I pledge”

Definition of Nursing

My core definition of nursing is selfless dedication to provide compassionate care to

those in need, while continuously having to learn and adapt to the ever-changing medical field.

My definition of nursing is further connected to Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing’s

(BSMCON) philosophy statement, by the tenets of caring, nursing education and service.

Nursing is a combination of art and science, and caring is an essential part of the art. Our caring

attitude is what drives patient care and is the foundation of setting a strong trusting rapport with

our patients. On the other hand, I believe education to be the essential component of the science

behind nursing. The education I received at BSMCON has prepared me to deliver safe and

holistic care to my patients. It has given me foundational confidence and prepared me to be part

of a trusted health system that offers the highest level of care. Education in this profession is by

no means limited to academics. Nursing consists of being flexible to constant changes, these can

be minor changes such as learning to use new equipment or to completely change how you

perform a procedure. Nurses are lifelong learners that are up to date with the latest evidence-

based practice in order to provide high quality patient care. Nursing is not confined to the

hospital. I believe nurses have the responsibility to serve their community. We can offer our

services and education to vulnerable populations who have no access to medical care. Nursing is

amongst the most trusted profession and we have the power to positively impact our community.

Personal Philosophy

My personal philosophy consists of two simple yet foundational guidelines. My first and

foremost guideline is to maintain a positive attitude in whatever role I am in. I believe that

attitude is extremely powerful and can change my entire outlook. I transition this into my nursing

practice by approaching school and clinical with an optimistic perception. This has not always

been so easy especially when life hits and things go unplanned. However, I’ve learned that being

in a bad mood only worsens the situation. That is why even when I am having a rough day, I still

manage to greet my patients with a warm smile and be able to provide purposeful high-quality

care. A positive attitude also affects communication within an interprofessional team, by making

communication a lot more cohesive and effective. I feel more comfortable speaking with a team

member who shows a desire to be there instead of trying to avoid someone who is constantly

complaining. I believe seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty is an important rule to

live by and by implementing it to my nursing practice, I am able to adequately care for my

patients and also have a favorable relationship with the interprofessional team.

The second guideline I follow is to respect everyone I encounter. While it is a cliché, it’s

one that has not lost its meaning. Mutual respect is essential in every interaction. I have learned

to always be polite to everyone because you will never know when you will need them. I stuck

with this belief throughout my life especially when entering nursing school. I am always affable

to my peers since I may need their help understanding a certain topic in class. I show the same

behavior during the clinical setting. While being in the ED during my immersion I have met an

overabundance of people from different cultures who have different beliefs than I do. As a health

professional I have to know how to assess my own perceptions and put my own personal biases

aside to be able to respectfully care for my patients. I am no one to judge them, and my

commitment is to help and give them the same high-quality care regardless of culture or beliefs.

Respect further transcends to the interprofessional team. This goes beyond the nurses and

advanced health professionals. Respect applies to all members of the team such as environmental

services and transport team etc. that make our job easier and allow us to perform in a more fluid

manner. I believe it is fundamental to carry myself with a humble heart and see everyone as

equal, no matter who they are. This guideline has allowed me to be a compassionate nurse who

doesn’t let differences interfere with the care I provide or with how I treat my fellow peers/co-

Values and Beliefs

Since writing my initial values and beliefs in my original Personal Philosophy of Nursing

paper in NUR1100 I do not think my values and beliefs have changed. However, I think they

have intensified. My core values and beliefs have always been family, compassion and service to

others. The amount of support my family has provided for me throughout nursing school has

been unconditional. Compassion is a value that is not only an essential in nursing but also one

that has given me the most wholesome experiences with patients. In NUR 1100 I knew I had to

be compassionate, but I hadn’t lived it how I have now. I have experienced compassion when I

take the ten extra minutes to sit down and let a patient tearfully pour their heart out while holding

my hand. Now I have a firmer grasp as to what compassion truly looks like. Similarly, serving

others was a given belief when I was describing it in my NUR 1100 paper. I applied it

superficially only to the patients I cared for in the hospital setting. While my belief of serving

others is still the same it has now expanded to being aware of how important it is to serve our

community and provide resources in hopes that it will prevent a hospitalization. I have noted

change in my values and beliefs after only a couple of years. I am hopeful that this personal

growth will continue into the future and I’m curious of how much I will change as I advance my

nursing career.

Nurse Patient Encounter

The Bon Secours Professional Practice model stresses the commitment to providing

education that goes beyond task completion and implementing orders. BSMCON is proving

education so nurses are well rounded and have effective critical thinking, technical and

interpersonal skills (Bon Secours Health Stream 2016). I believe this program is producing

confident nurses who know the level of care that is expected. Nurses who are confident in our

capabilities but understand that as a new nurse we are going to have to ask for help. As a nursing

student I’ve had many patient interactions where I have to rely on these skills to provide patient

care. One example that sticks out is during my clinical immersion. My preceptor told me to go

assess a patient and to come back and tell him what the patient needed, and to think about their

plan of care. After introducing myself, the patient’s mother was a bit reluctant about me being a

student but agreed for me to do my assessment. The patient was a 14-year-old female who came

in for problems breathing. While she did not express any pain, she did however express her

annoyance. She huffed and puffed and gave me the infamous teenager eyeroll with everything I

asked her to do. Nonetheless, I completed my assessment and used my critical thinking to report

my findings back to my preceptor. My assessment matched his and we both concluded that she

was wheezing and would need a breathing treatment. I felt good knowing that I assessed and

implemented an appropriate plan of care. However, a pillar in my own nursing philosophy is to

maintain a positive patient relationship as that will always trickle down into effective patient

care. In this case, I did not feel comfortable with the relationship I had with my patient and her

family. As a result, I made sure to check up on them frequently. During one of my rounds, I

noticed she was watching one of my favorite movies. I started talking to her about the movie and

her entire mood changed. She became very receptive of me and no longer fussed when I needed

to perform a task. As I was performing the tasks the patient’s mom saw that I was able to do

them independently and accurately. My patient ended up having to be admitted to the inpatient

floor and by the end, her and her mom were very friendly and thankful. I was able to incorporate

the skills outlined in the Bon Secours Professional Practice model while still staying true to my

own philosophy of nursing and thereby improving the care I was providing to this patient.

Change Agent

The saying goes, if it’s not broke don’t fix it. Nonetheless, in this constantly developing

medical field, change is inevitable. Therefore, as a future nurse I have to carry an open mind and

be willing to adjust my practice to the most updated evidence-based research. The NUR 4140

practicum experience has allowed me to do just that, it also permitted me to see a different side

of nursing. While I knew that practice was always changing, I did not know the extensive

amount of research it took to implement a change. During this course I was able to integrate

myself into what the nursing leaders do and the steps they take in order to introduce a new

intervention to their team. On the other hand, while doing interviews with the nurses on the unit,

I also learned their reasons for resistance and why they did or did not agree with the intervention.

I’ve learned that no change is too small and what may seem like a small effort can mean a world

of a difference in patient care. I do believe change is needed and important, but it should be a

united decision. Nursing leaders and bedside nurses should all agree for the common goal of

improving the quality of care being delivered to patients. Change can be a very difficult thing

especially when change is affecting something that has been in place for a long time and has

proven to be effective. However, I believe this course has shown me how to be a change agent.

Not only to consider new ideas but how to research data and health concepts in order to present a

potential change in practice.


Skill Acquisition

Patricia Benner, a nursing theorist developed a theory called, From Novice to Expert.

This theory highlights the changes a nurse goes through as they advance their career. Benner’s

theory is split up into five distinct stages; novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient and

expert. These stages explain the development of skills over time that are gained through

education and the nurse’s personal experience (Benner, 2001). I would consider myself to fall in

the novice stage. Benner explains that this stage consists of a graduate nurse being in situations

and have not experienced them. As well as being focused on following the rules in order to guide

our practice (Benner, 2001). I definitely see myself when reading about this stage. I am not

comfortable performing alone when I encounter a situation in immersion that I am not familiar

with. My practice still relies on rules and looking up policies. While, this allows me to get the

task at hand done, I agree with Benner that following the rules doesn’t teach me how to prioritize

tasks to know which one is the most important at that exact moment. As a brand-new registered

nurse, I know that I will not know everything there is to know. I will continue to learn and to

develop my skills during orientation and residency in order for me to move forward into

Benner’s second stage.

Action Plan

My next step is to advance to the second stage of Benner’s theory. The next stage is

advanced beginner. This part is described as having enough experience to notice important

patterns in patient situations and also noting significant changes in a patient’s state. The new

nurse will still require assistance since we will be unable to fully understand how to prioritize

interventions at that time (Benner 2001). This next stage will require experience and I believe to

be on the right track since I have been learning a lot during my immersion and putting myself in

situations where I get out of my comfort zone in order to obtain new skills and further develop

my critical thinking. Immersion has truly showed me how grueling 12-hour shifts can be at

times, so self-care is essential. It is something that nurses are not always good at since it is our

nature to care for others before we care for ourselves. I have been working on my self-care plan,

when I come home from immersion, I like to take a long hot shower and take that time to reflect

on my day. Once I am out, I disconnect myself from all technology and simply lay in bed with

only the hum of my essential oil diffuser in the background. This routine allows me to clear my

mind and mentally prepare myself for the next day.

Professional development is important to me, and my five-year plan is to hopefully

become an official medical interpreter, certify in my specialty and figure out where I would like

to go to school. My end goal is to be a pediatric emergency nurse practitioner. For now, I am

focused on evolving and finding my own rhythm as a new registered nurse.



Benner. P. (2001). From novice to expert. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Confessore. S., Hash. P., Pugh. H., Streett. M., Bourne. T. (2016). Bon Secours Is Changing its

Approach to Annual Mandatory Training for Nurses. HealthStream.