Personal Values and Nursing

An overview of Leininger and Neuman’s philosophies and systems of care and how these philosophies relate to a personal, contemporary set of nursing values and professional ethics.

This paper discusses how, when defining a personal nursing philosophy, the individual nurse must not simply review his or her own schema of values and beliefs and reassert the nurse’s own personal confidence in nursing and medical knowledge in general. It looks at how the nurse must also take into consideration what nursing theorists, such as Madeline Leininger and Betty Neuman, have said about the responsibilities of the profession. It explores how nursing theorists of the recent past must be viewed with a professional respect in order to ensure that a nurse coming into an increasingly difficult health care environment has a core sense of his or her own personal and professional values and is also flexible enough to respond to individual obstacles he or she may encounter over the course of his or her medical experience.
“More subtly, when an individual experiences a loss, for instance, if a woman is widowed in a particular culture, this loss of a husband and the appropriate mourning behavior may be quite different for an Irish Catholic widow in Boston versus a recent Iranian immigrant. A nurse must be prepared for these different cultural responses and reactions, and tailor her behavior, if not her information and expertise to the situation.”