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Personal Theoretical Framework for Advanced Practice Nursing

Personal Theoretical Framework for Advanced Practice Nursing

Personal Nursing Philosophy

Nurses have different career and educational goals, which makes them have different philosophies. Based on the area of specialization in clinical practice and research, advanced practice nurses have different philosophies which outline their beliefs, values, principles, and ethics in nursing. Nursing philosophy is rooted in nurses’ practice, education, and ethics in health (Amayo, n.d.). Personal nursing philosophy helps nurses to provide their services with passion since it motivates them to work towards a certain goal (Meehan, Timmins & Burke, 2018). Through personal nursing philosophies, nurses use certain values, principles, ethics, and beliefs, which lead to high-quality care and desired outcomes (Amayo, n.d.). With nursing philosophies, nurses use evidence-based practice, such as using knowledge from nursing theories to provide care for patients. Critical thinking and evidence-based practice are part of nursing philosophies that improve the quality of care in nursing.

My area of nursing practice is psychiatry nursing, where I work in a psychiatry unit. As a psychiatry nurse, I provide services to mentally ill patients who present with various mental issues such as anxiety, and depression. I assess patients to identify their needs, and come up with nursing diagnoses and interventions to manage their conditions. I also administer medications and counsel patients and their relatives in the unit. Working in psychiatry units is demanding as nurses face patients with different characters and behaviors. Some interventions used, such as isolating patients, restricting patients, or using force, lead to poor outcomes instead of positive outcomes. Some patients are usually violent, and some refuse to take medications which makes nurses use forceful means such as using restraints in the psychiatry unit. The situations in the psychiatry units and challenges helped me in coming up with a personal nursing philosophy for better nursing outcomes.

As a psychiatry nurse, my personal nursing philosophy is to establish a healthy helping-trusting relationship with patients by being empathetic, kind, loving, and creating a safe and enabling environment. To achieve this, the first focus should be the behaviors of the patients. Understanding the behaviors of patients enables me to come up with the best ways of modifying the behaviors, which later encourages the formation of good nurse-patient relationships. Practices such as the use of restraints and isolation are common in most psychiatry units, especially where patients are aggressive and violent. These interventions lead to poor outcomes such as physical injuries to patients. My nursing philosophy is against the use of force, restraints, and isolation when caring for patients. I believe that mental patients are human beings, and therefore they should be treated in a fair way, just like other human beings. There should be a good relationship between nurses and the patients despite some being aggressive and violent (Meehan, Timmins & Burke, 2018). Aggressive and violent behaviors in psychiatry are due to mental disorders, and therefore nurses should use better interventions of managing the symptoms rather than using force or restricting the patients.

Under nursing philosophy, the core of nursing is caring, integrity and knowledge. Nurses should provide quality care to the patients using values such as kindness and observe ethical principles (Amayo, n.d.). Caring for patients in a kind way requires nurses to have the value of human dignity where patients are recognized as important and treated ethically as human beings. The use of restraints in psychiatry units leads to physical harm and psychological torture to patients, which is not human dignity. My personal nursing philosophy is to ensure that interpersonal process is used to prevent the use of restraints that lead to poor health outcomes. Creating a helping-trusting relationship with the patient, being kind, and empathetic, and creating an enabling environment reduces the use of restraints which improves the quality of care. Patients should also be helped to achieve therapeutic use of self (Amayo, n.d.). Spiritual support is also part of the aspects of my nursing philosophy that improves the quality of care to meet desired outcomes. To achieve my nursing philosophy, I focus on the mode of communication where I establish rapport with patients. Focusing on both verbal and nonverbal communication leads to an empathetic relationship with the patients and family members. The patients are the center of care, and therefore they should be treated as human beings and not objects. Nurse-patient or family relationship is key in providing care for mentally ill patients.

Nursing Theory that Fits the Philosophy 

My personal nursing theory aligns with Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. According to Jean Watson, human beings should not be treated as objects and also should not be separated from nature, self, others, and the larger workforce (Watson & Woodward, 2020). Nurses as professionals should focus more on the human part of nursing where they believe in positive health outcomes when caring for patients to improve life. Nurses should have values that positively impact patients but do not lead to further harm or damage (Jones, 2018). Any nurse who loses the values is considered heartless and soulless. In the event a nurse becomes heartless and soulless due to not observing nursing values, then the nurse becomes worthless. Watson emphasized the importance of interpersonal processes between patients and nurses when providing care to patients (Watson & Woodward, 2020). A transpersonal relationship during the provision of care is essential in healing both the patient and the person providing care (Jones, 2018). Watson came up with ten carative factors that nurses should consider when caring for patients. The factors include instilling faith-hope, cultivating a sensitivity to self and others, creating humanistic-altruistic value systems, establishing a helping-trust relationship, allowing the expression of feelings, and providing a supportive environment among others (Watson & Woodward, 2020).

My personal nursing philosophy is to establish a healthy helping-trusting relationship with patients by being empathetic, kind, loving, and creating a safe and enabling environment while caring for psychiatry patients. Most of the factors addressed by Jean Watson in her theory of caring appear in my nursing philosophy. Watson emphasized the interpersonal process, and my nursing philosophy aims to ensure that there is a healthy helping-trusting relationship (Jones, 2018). Empathy, kindness, and love are essential in caring for patients based on the theory. I believe that human beings are not objects, as stated by Watson, and therefore, nurses should ensure that patient care leads to positive outcomes. I also believe that the best way of caring for patients is to create a supportive environment and instilling hope.

The Possible Situation in Which the Theory Would be a Poor Fit and Discuss why it is a Poor Fit For that Situation

Jean Watson’s theory of human caring can be a poor fit in some situations, especially in psychiatry units. The theory emphasizes on relationship between patient and nurse during care. However, the theory does not consider the behavioral aspects of patients (Alharbi & Baker, 2020). I believe that modifying or changing the behaviors of patients is key to improved outcomes. Most psychiatry patients have behavioral issues which should be addressed. The type of relationship between the nurse and patient is affected by the behavior of the patient. Therefore, before focusing on relationships, other aspects of the patient, such as behaviors should be considered. It is hard to start an interpersonal process with a patient having violent or aggressive behaviors. The theory thus would not fit in situations where patients present with strange behaviors that should be modified or changed (Alharbi & Baker, 2020). Understanding the behaviors of patients and family members leads to constructive behaviors and healthy nurse-patient relationships.

Jean Watson’s theory fits in situations where the patient’s behavior is already understood and changed to constructive behavior leading to a better nurse-patient relationship. However, the theory does not fit in situations where the patients present with undesired behaviors such as violent behaviors. An effective and therapeutic relationship is created when the patient and nurse present with normal behaviors (Alharbi & Baker, 2020). In nursing, it should aim at modifying the behaviors of some patients to create a good therapeutic relationship.

Personal nursing philosophies outline nurses’ beliefs, values, principles, and ethics during nursing practice. Nursing philosophy reflects professional and personal goals and beliefs. Values such as human dignity, justice, and integrity form nursing philosophies. My personal nursing philosophy aims to improve the outcome of patients in the psychiatry unit through the interpersonal process of relationships. Jean Watson’s theory of human caring, which emphasizes the importance of the nurse-patient relationship, aligns with my personal nursing philosophy. The theory fits well in the psychiatry unit, where an improved nurse-patient relationship improves patient outcomes. The theory does not fit in some situations where behaviours need to be changed. Personal nursing philosophies should lead to critical thinking and use of the evidence-based practice. Existing nursing ethics, policies, values, and principles should be considered by nurses when developing their personal nursing philosophies.


Alharbi, K., & Baker, D. O. G. (2020). Jean Watson’s Middle Range Theory of Human Caring: A Critique. International Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Scientific Research (IJAMSR) ISSN: 2581-4281, 3 (1), 1-14.

Amayo, B. Philosophy of Nursing.

Jones, S. N. (2018). Watson’s theory of human caring: Effect on nurse perception of care environment (Doctoral dissertation, Gardner-Webb University).

Meehan, T. C., Timmins, F., & Burke, J. (2018). Fundamental care guided by the careful nursing philosophy and professional practice model©. Journal of clinical nursing27(11-12), 2260-2273.

Watson, J., & Woodward, T. (2020). Jean Watson’s theory of human caring. SAGE Publications Limited.


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Personal Theoretical Framework for Advanced Practice Nursing

  • Discuss a personal nursing philosophy. Apply what you have learned about nursing theory in this course.
  • Identify a nursing philosophy that best matches your personal philosophy.
  • Discuss a nursing framework or theory that fits that philosophy including how it fits your personal philosophy.
  • Identify a possible situation in which that framework or theory would be a poor fit and discuss why it is a poor fit for that situation. While it is an important skill to be able to match a theory with a situation, it is also critical to understand when a theory or framework does not fit a situation.

    Personal Theoretical Framework for Advanced Practice Nursing

    Personal Theoretical Framework for Advanced Practice Nursing

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