Writing my own Personal Philosophy of Nursing was a lot more difficult than I expected. I have been reflecting over the last 27 years, knowing that I have loved taking care of people with a kind of passion that I sometimes don't even understand. Is it enough to say that I have always wanted to be a nurse, I had thought so? Saying that I have always wanted to be a nurse has been my response whenever asked why I became a nurse. Today, that response just isn't enough. While reading through my Personal Profile I saw in actual print what I have never been able to put into words, regarding why I do what I do.
There has never been any one incident in my life that led me into nursing. In my Personal Profile I saw the words that defined it for me. I seem to have a deep almost uncanny way of understanding people's feelings, drawing out the individuality of each person and instinctively caring for people's emotional needs. Building harmony, understanding, and common acceptance is a life-long assignment for me. Possessing a quiet strength, my caring, concerned approach to life seems to encourage other people to confide in me. With all that said what I have felt my whole life is a connection with people. I have never been afraid to look anyone directly in the eye or talk with anyone. One thing that I have always known about myself is that I have never really had "Personal Space", which has always left me open to people and their feelings.
In trying to describe where I work it could be done with the diagnosis of the clients I care for. In my description I could tell you about ages and demographics. Again, that is not enough. I have worked for the same organization for over 27years, because according to my Personal Profile I am very loyal to organizations. I believe my reason for choosing Saint Vincent Health Center has a lot to do with my religious, ethical and moral believes along with the traditions I have grown up with and my philosophy of "live and let live". According to my Personal Profile I seek relationships which provide growth and development. I feel that working at this organization has given me that opportunity. My nursing career began in Pediatric and Neonatal Nursing, and then progressed into Adult Intensive Care, Management, and finally Cardiac Nursing.
Today I feel that the role of the nurse is more than just "Nurse-Patient Relationship". It is "Nurse-Patient-Family-Community-Environment Relationship". That would be my way of saying multidimensional. As my Personal Profile reads, seeing everyone and everything living together harmoniously is what drives me. I greatly believe the qualities a nurse should possess are strong ethical and moral values, a passion for caring, and a commitment to lifelong education. Along with these a nurse should believe in the dignity and worth of each and every person. Nurses should use their values and education to return some sort of balance to an individual and their family's lives due to an illness either physical or emotional. Every level of the Health Care System along with the Community should work to provide an environment for its people that decrease illness and disease. We are also responsible for accepting and providing for those that are in need of "Health or Wellness Care".
When looking at my multidimensional model of a "Healthy Society", I realize that is my ideal. What I have not been able to put into words because as stated in my Personal Profile "I have a blind spot". I am stubborn about change, I don't always express my negative feelings and opinions, and finally keeping a low profile is not always in my best interest. Well it is time for some professional growth. I do possess negative feelings and opinions toward nursing and the organization which I practice nursing at. Simply they are both changing. All these years of truly believing that "Nursing is an Art" I find myself drifting away from the rigid structure of the hospital and out into community settings where caring does not fit into a box. As a professional I understand the changes and the need for structure, but in my experience I don't feel that nursing is "Black and White". According to my Personal Profile, I find more satisfaction from work that allows me to use my creativity, interpersonal skills, and enable me to obtain personal growth. All of these descriptors that make me who I am as a nurse are not there in my current practice. Time has come for me to make a change.
Professional Nursing Organizations and Schools of Nursing that are trying to define or teach what nursing is or should be within the "Healthy Society" have a monumental task still in front of them. As I read through school philosophies and current nursing literature I can feel their struggle to try to define "Who We Are". From nursing being an art, to a passion, an ability to care, as educators, critical thinkers, leaders, and researchers some of these objective, subjective, life experience definitions would be very difficult to put into words. As a society with so many rules and regulations I hope we don't lose sight of our mission to work towards or maintain our "Healthy Society". With the legal system, insurances, and health organizations trying to define what nursing should and should not do, this creates a challenge. Another challenge that we face is changes occurring within the dynamics of communities, and the growing need for more nursing care than there are nurses. As a profession we need to continue to grow and define ourselves now more than ever.
Personally I see my own professional growth taking me in a new and exciting direction. Going back to school for my Baccalaureate Education is meant to increase my knowledge. Coupled with this new knowledge adding to my years of experience I hope to begin practicing my profession out in the community, or through teaching those that choice nursing as a profession. As my Personal Profile reads, my work has to contribute to things that matter to me. My ideal model of "Nurse-Patient-Family-Community-Environment Relationship" is of extreme importance to me as a practitioner. I hope to foster the same passions I have had for nursing over the years and connected with the differences I have been able to make, infuse them into a new generation of nurses that are so desperately needed. One final thought, I have not up to this point discouraged anyone from nursing. Nursing is an "Art of Caring" that needs to continue.