Nursing Science the Nursing Profession Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

As such, a nurse is primarily to recognize herself as an individual in the world, with certain responses to this world. When a patient enters the hospital, such a patient is also to be seen as a unique individual who responds to the world and his or her environment in a certain way.

Humanistic nursing is then primarily experiential rather than experimental. This means that new knowledge is gained with every new patient that arrives for treatment. In giving treatment, responses are observed and noted for future reference in similar situations. It is not however assumed that a treatment will work because it did in the past and in similar conditions. Instead, hypotheses are based upon experiences of the past. The recognition that hypotheses may prove incorrect helps the nurse to be open to new experiences. Each human being is then seen as a "world," as it were, with the opportunity to investigate this world and use it for the future improvement of nursing.

In this context, the authors (2008, p. 3) propose what they refer to as dialogical nursing. This means that the world of nursing is lived by means of interaction. The "dialogue" involves not only the nurse and her interactions with other nurses and patients, but also the influences of other factors such as the environment and the requirements of the nursing profession itself. Everything is seen as interacting with everything else. In the world, nursing is then seen as a world itself, which functions within a wider reality. In this way, it is fully contextualized, with a recognition of influences from the environment beyond the immediate setting of the care giving facility.

Part of this contextualization is not only the physical environment, but also the patient's relationship with others, such as family members and friends (Paterson and Zderad, 2008, p. 3). The nurse applies her own experience with family and friends to recognize this. In contrast to the empiricist theory then, environmental factors also include the relationship with other human beings, as these may affect the psychological well-being of the patient and hence his or her responses to the treatment provided.

Often, the help of family and friends may also be used in the humanistic setting in order to provide the patient with the support needed for optimal treatment. This is a view of the person as part of a collective whole rather than an individual separate from other individuals. The nurse relates to the patient among a group of other patients, and as he or she relates to the other patients. This furthers the holistic approach, in that the relationship is plural rather than singular. In this view, patients are always viewed in relation to other human beings. Human beings are continuously part of the influencing environment, affected by and affecting the personal relationships within which they function.

Primarily, the nurse relates to herself, her patients, and other nurses within an increasingly complex world of functions, changes, and specializations. It is therefore important tor recognize that the world is not only experienced in an empiricist way, by means of the senses, but also in humanistic, non-sensory way, by means of psychological responses.

Today, most nursing practitioners follow some form of the humanistic approach. This is so because the approach recognizes the complexities of the influencing environment upon the health of the patient. The patient's psychological responses are unique and unseen, and should be kept in mind when considering optimal treatment options.

If I were to change from a humanistic to empiricist paradigm, many things would change, including my relationship to patients, my approach to illness, and my study of the environment as influencing this illness. Firstly and most importantly, my relationship to patients would become much more clinical. Individuals would no longer be seen as such, but would be viewed as a set of similar entities that respond to their environment in a similar way. Although this is a very impersonal approach, it would enable me to make a much more specific diagnosis and provide treatment without further complexities. On the other hand, this could be problematic, as the patient may not respond as expected to treatments and remedies.

On a personal level, I would not need to take any approach to self-knowledge or the knowledge of others apart from how this affects observable data and hypothesis formation. It would make things considerably less complex, as I can follow a completely impersonal approach to my profession. There would be very clear rules for empirical investigation that would have to be followed.

Furthermore on a personal level, I would be concerned mainly by observing patients in order to collect data. I will then use this data to hypothesize a situation and offer treatment, the results of which will be used for my future situations with patients. The focus is upon studying illness, finding remedies, and providing data for future research. The patient would be seen merely as a subject of study, without attempting any personal involvement with him or her.

I believe that empiricist nursing completely dehumanizes the patient and undermines the caring component of the profession. In a hospital that subscribes to the empiricist paradigm, therefore, I believe that nurses would be much less involved with their patients on a personal level. The focus would be study and gaining knowledge from observable evidence rather than gaining knowledge of the self and other as human beings that respond to similar elements in our environment. The nurse would be a separate and different entity from the patient, with the patient defined in terms of his or her illness rather than in terms of humanity.

Having said this, I do believe that empiricism has an important role to play in the nursing profession. Indeed, without it, there would be no nursing profession to speak of, as empirical data is necessary to ensure certain paradigms of treatment. However, I do not believe that it should be used exclusively as a nursing paradigm. Instead, it should be included in a holistic approach that is primarily humanistic. Patients are human beings. The nurse, recognizing herself also as a human being, interacts with both patients and other professionals within the medical and the wider reality. This provides the profession with a greater sense of richness and fulfillment, while still allowing for the accumulation of empirical knowledge, although this is tempered by observable differences that cannot be explicated by empiricism alone.


Cody, William K. & Kenney, Janet W. (2006). Philosophical and Theoretical Perspectives for Advanced Nursing Practice. Jones & Bartlett.

Collaboration for Academic Education in Nursing. (2009). Foundational Perspectives.

Current Nursing (2009, March 16). Nursing Theories.

Kleinman, Susan (2009). Humanistic Nursing Theory.

Paterson, Josephine and Zderad, Loretta (2008, Apr. 8). Humanistic Nursing. Project Gutenberg ebook.

Rodgers, Beth L. (2004). Developing Nursing Knowledge: Philosophical Traditions and Influences.…[continue]

Some Sources Used in Document:


Cite This Essay:

"Nursing Science The Nursing Profession" (2009, September 18) Retrieved December 9, 2016, from

"Nursing Science The Nursing Profession" 18 September 2009. Web.9 December. 2016. <>

"Nursing Science The Nursing Profession", 18 September 2009, Accessed.9 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Nursing Science the Historical Development of Nursing

    Nursing Science The historical development of nursing science can largely be dated back to the era of Florence Nightingale. It is however imperative to note that nursing as a largely independent profession has over the past century converged into a well founded theoretical perspectives culture. In this text, I will develop a nursing science historical development timeline with a mention of specific theorists, theories, years as well as events in nursing

  • Nursing What Is My Career

    Why do I want to go to Georgetown? The Nursing program at Georgetown strives to continue its tradition of preparing what Georgetown calls "…morally reflective health care leaders and scholars who strive to improve the health and well being of all people," and that is precisely my own personal passion. The high quality of the Nursing program at Georgetown is well-known, and I am very certain that I will fit into

  • Nursing Online the Nursing Shortage

    (2007)103.6; 18-23 Michigan Center for Nursing. Survey of Nursing Education Programs: 2005-2006 School Year. 24, July 2007. Mancuso-Murphy, Josephine.Distance Education in Nursing: An Integrated Review of Online Nursing Students' Experiences with Technology-Delivered Instruction Journal of Nursing Education. (2007) 46.6); 252-261 Northwest Michigan College. 8/15/06. Online Nursing Frequently Asked Questions. 24, July 2007. Segal-Isaacson, Adam Ezra. Distance learning: Technology puts continuing education within reach.. Nursing. (2002) 32.1 14-17 Washington State Department of Health. Nursing Care Quality Assurance

  • Nursing Changes in Nursing Discuss

    In what ways did the wave of the nursing shortage in the 1980's and in 2000 support or constrain theoretical thinking? Why? Are there ways to influence the cycle of shortage and theoretical thinking? Identify one nursing theorist that would support your discussion/views. Provide rationale for selection of theorist. Nursing shortages have been a problem in this country for a long time. It has been found that because of these shortages

  • Nursing Religion and Nursing How

    3. How is being a Christian affecting your life now? Being a Christian is one of the main reasons that I am committed to a career in a profession whose purpose is to benefit other people instead of one of the many easier and more lucrative) careers in fields that relate more to goals devoid of any altruistic component. Especially in light of my experience when I believe God spared my

  • Art and Science of Nursing

    Art & Science of Nursing Since its very inception, there has been a conflict within the nursing profession about its status as to whether it is a science or an art. This is due to the fact that the profession of nursing includes within its tradition both scientific and artistic aspects. The opposition between science and art has existed from the beginning of modern nursing. Nightingale championed the view of nursing as

  • Nursing Program as Nursing Constantly Migrate Toward

    Nursing Program As nursing constantly migrate toward professionalism and development of the profession, the notion of erudition becomes increasingly important. Erudition in nursing is defined as those actions that steadily advance nursing practice and nursing research through rigorous inquiry that is important to the profession, is creative, documentable and can be elaborated. Practical nursing program therefore is a foundational factor in nursing that analytically and methodically strengthen the basic principle

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved