Ashford University Personal Philosophy of Nursing Discussion
NURS 4301 Conceptual Basis of Nursing
Directions and Tips for Writing Personal Philosophy of Nursing Paper
1. Write your personal philosophy of nursing.
- Your philosophy should clearly delineate what you believe underlies, guides, and influences your practice.
- Major elements (concepts) should be identified and included as headings in your paper.
- Provide examples to explain how these elements influence or guide your nursing practice.
- This paper is not a story of why you became a nurse. Instead it should be a focus of what guides you as a practitioner and drives your practice.
- You may use concepts such as caring, patient education, patient outcomes, or use ideas from nursing theories such as Orem’s Theory of Self Care, Watson’s Theory of Caring, Newman’s Systems Theory, Rogers Theory of Unitary Man. There are many other concepts you could base your philosophy on, those mentioned here are just a few examples.
- References should be professional journals and books.
- Do not use Wikipedia or dictionaries as references.
- Do not use the Bible as a reference.
- The paper is to be a scholarly presentation using APA format and be no longer than 5 double‐spaced pages, not including Title and Reference pages.
2. Writing a formal paper is a process of critical thinking because it requires one to analyze, conceptualize, and clearly present the material.
- This paper should not be a creative exposition. Your writing for this paper should be simple, clear, and straightforward. Avoid metaphors, rhetorical questions, florid or poetic language.
- Avoid trying to sound “intellectual.” When complex terms or extra words are used, it usually sounds artificial and contrived (forced, phony). Avoid terms such as “utilize,” the word “use” is simpler and conveys the same meaning.
- What drives or underlies your practice?
- How is a person’s philosophy used in making choices?
- How does a person’s philosophy affect his/her own practice of nursing?
- What are the major components of the philosophy of nursing at your work/institution?
- What is the impact of the institution’s mission and purposes and/or philosophy of nursing on the practice of nursing where you work?
- Does the profession’s (or an organization’s) philosophy affect the standards of nursing care? If so, how? If not, why?
- What are the ANA Standards of Clinical Nursing Practice? What are the values underlying the Standards?
- What nursing theories might exemplify your personal philosophy? Although you are not required to reference a nursing theory, sometimes students will do this to support their ideas.
- Personal goals are different than a personal nursing philosophy (i.e., don’t make any med errors is a goal, not a philosophy).
- Title Page: The title page should include a page number, the paper’s title, your name, course number (NURS 4103).
- An abstract is not expected.
Following are some questions you may want to think about before writing your paper. These are not headings or items you need to include in your paper, but they may be food for thought in developing your paper. However, you certainly may include any of these ideas to support your views.
The paper should include the following parts:
- The introduction should be kept to 1‐2 short paragraphs.
- A good introduction includes the topic and why and how it will be addressed.
- The introduction should briefly and broadly address the main concepts of your paper, then the body will discuss these elements in a bit more detail.
- Last sentence stating the specific concepts that you will be addressing in your paper (3‐4 concepts).
- Per APA guidelines, the introduction does not have a heading.
- Body of the Paper:
- The body of the paper is the logical development of your subject (philosophy).
- You are required to use headings to organize the paper. These headings (or the major concepts they address) should be identified in your introduction. Typically, you should have 3‐4 headings (could be more or less, but should always include some headings).
- Use headings that identify the 3‐4 concepts identified in your introduction last sentence.
- Each heading should be followed by 1‐3 paragraphs expounding on the heading topic.
- Address one idea per sentence. Connect ideas within a paragraph.
- This is a summary of the major points you made in the paper.
- Restate broadly what you addressed in your paper. You should not have new information or references in your summary, but you may sum it all up with a final new sentence that encompasses everything.
- Should be on a separate page.
- Arranged alphabetically by the author’s last name.
- All references on the reference page must be cited within the body of the paper.
- All references in‐text (in the body of your paper) should be on your reference list.
- Refer to APA resources for correct in‐text citations and reference page format.
- Use simplest terms possible (i.e., “use” instead of “utilize”). Using more sophisticated or complex terms makes a paper more difficult to read and DOES NOT make the paper appear more intellectual.
- Write simple, clear, unambiguous sentences. Avoid pretense. Writing should be plain, simple, straightforward and open. Don’t try to be “scholarly” or “intellectual.”
- Use active voice and not passive voice
- It is okay to use more first person voice for this paper. In fact, I would expect to see a lot of …I believe….or…my beliefs…. or similar. When you make broad statements, either state that they are your thoughts/ideas, or you need to reference them.
- Refer to Purdue Owl writing center for help
- If needed, contact the GSU Writing Center for feedback on your writing before you submit papers
- Remember that your discipline is nursing, not medicine. Although both of these disciplines are part of healthcare, and there is some overlap, nursing is a distinct profession. Therefore, please avoid referring to nursing or nurses as part of the “medical” profession, and instead use the term nursing profession or healthcare.
Grading Criteria for Philosophy Scholarly Paper
Grading Rubric Performance Levels:
a. Very good; b. Good; c. Acceptable; d. Needs substantial improvement; e. Unacceptable.
Grading Rubric Performance Indicators:
1. Personal Philosophy of Nursing (50%):
Your philosophy should clearly delineate what you believe underlies, guides and influences your practice. Major elements (concepts) should be identified, and practice examples used to explain how these elements influence or guide your nursing care.
a. Personal philosophy clearly delineated, with specific practice examples used to explain elements of philosophy, personal philosophy’s influence on nursing practice evident. (45‐50%)
b. Focus clearly directed toward personal nursing philosophy. (39‐44%)
c. Focus directed toward personal nursing philosophy. (30‐38%)
d. Focus somewhat related to personal nursing philosophy. (10‐29%)
e. Failed to focus on personal nursing philosophy. (0%)
2. Critical Thinking (30%):
Literature analyzed, conceptualized, and clearly presented. Incorporate concepts from literature. Even though this is your personal view, I would like to see some support from the literature for what your beliefs might be based on. You do not need extensive literature integration, but I want to know that you have thought about or considered what constitutes nursing outside your personal view.
a. Current references cited; evidence of thorough analysis; clearly presented; demonstrated relevance to
philosophy with examples. (28‐30%)
b. Current references cited; evidence of analysis; clearly presented with demonstrated relevance to
c. Current references cited; evidence of analysis; relevance to philosophy. (15‐23%)
d. References cited with limited evidence of analysis or relevance to the philosophy. (10‐14%)
e. Limited literature; no evidence of relevance to the philosophy. (0%)
3. Follow guidelines for writing a scholarly formal paper (20%)
a. Accurate use of APA and Writing Criteria Guidelines with 0‐1 insignificant errors; included Title Page, Introduction, Body of Paper with headings, Summary, and Reference page sections. (19‐20%)
b. Accurate use of APA and Writing Criteria Guidelines with 2‐5 insignificant errors; included Title Page, Introduction, Body of Paper, Summary, and Reference page sections. (16‐18%)
c. Mostly accurate use of APA and Writing Criteria Guidelines; included Title Page, Introduction, Body of Paper, Summary, and Reference page sections.
d. Evidence of attempt at using APA and Writing Criteria guidelines but with several errors; included Title Page, Introduction, Body of Paper, Summary, and Reference page sections. (5‐9%)
e. Did not follow APA guidelines or Writing Criteria guidelines. (0%)
Additional Considerations for Writing Your Philosophy Paper That You May Find Helpful
Some grammar and writing tips:
A couple of other general considerations:
- Although it is fine to discuss that your faith/religion has had an impact on you, please do not focus your personal nursing philosophy solely around this. I completely understand that your beliefs underlie the foundations of moral behavior, but focus on what specifically influences your broader nursing behaviors.
Very rough paper example
Below is a very rough example of ideas or thoughts that I might include in a philosophy of nursing paper. This example is just some quick ideas I came up with, which might give you ideas of how to approach your philosophy paper. This is by no means what you have to follow, and understand that this example is NOT formatted correctly, it is just ideas placed under potential headings.
Personal Philosophy of Nursing Reflection
I believe that a primary part of nursing is developing a caring relationship with patients. Within Watson’s Theory of Caring (Year), developing trust, being altruistic, being sensitive and nurturing are concepts that apply to my personal view of a caring relationship. A second major part of my nursing philosophy beliefs is critical decision making. This process is important in making accurate decisions about patient care and keeping patient’s safe (or protecting patients from injury). My third major concept (idea) of nursing is teaching. I believe teaching is essential to help patients (individuals, groups or communities) care for themselves. In this paper I will discuss these three major components of my nursing philosophy, caring, critical decision making and teaching.
I might elaborate more on Watson’s theory, and on the components of caring and/or developing relationships with patients. Would give specific examples from my personal practice. Also, could use the components of the theory as subheadings if that helped clarify (i.e., a specific example for each component‐not required‐just ideas)
Critical Decision Making
Might define concept based on ANA or other source (i.e., specialty organizations, IOM, ACA), might elaborate on why/how process supports accurate care and safety, might relate to my institutions mission or framework or vision, and then give specific examples of how I use in my practice. Might include information on evidence based practice. Would give examples in my practice.
Might define what teaching is (from text or other professional sources) and what types occur across nursing. Might relate to a specific theory such as Orem’s theory of self‐care or a health promotion theory or framework. Would give examples in my practice.
Might start out with ….Caring relationships, critical decision making and teaching are essential components of my personal nursing philosophy…then restate in a few sentences what these mean to you).