The Importance Of Discipline In Nursing

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“Without a clear sense of our nursing identity and the meaning of our mission to society, we have no value or purpose other than to support and promote the practice of medicine.” (Newman et al 2008) To distinguish themselves from their medical colleagues, nurses must clearly define their identity and the meaning of their mission to society. Nightingale (1859) defined nursing as “taking charge of the personal health of the individuals.” Over the years this definition has evolved and in 2003 the Royal college of nursing defined nursing as “the use of clinical judgement in the provision of care to enable people to improve, maintain or recover health to cope with health problems and to achieve the best possible quality of life, whatever
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Historically, the role of the nurse was seen as assistant to medicine. In an attempt to become a discipline in its own right, nurses entered 3rd level institutions to develop their own body of knowledge. “Disciplines are characterised by perspectives shared by the disciplines members, and these perspectives shape the way that members of a discipline tend to view the phenomena within, as well as outside the discipline” (Meleis 2012). Disciplines have their own set of laws and core concepts. For nursing to exist as a discipline nurses must be able to articulate what they do, and what makes them unique. According to Willis et al (2008) “nurses must lead the discipline forward by knowing what our central unifying focus for practice is, developing it, teaching it, and speaking it, thereby transforming self, other, and the larger healthcare environment.” From the 1960’s, (when nurses entered 3rd level institutions), nursing has been engaged in defining its ontological position (the nature of nursing and what it is) and defining it’s a distinct epistemology and methods to develop disciplinary knowledge. Initially nursing became defined as a scientific discipline. The use of the received view was adopted as the main method of scientific enquiry by nursing theorists. However, through time nursing has become defined as a human science, a practice orientated discipline, with a focus on caring, health and…show more content…
”Ethics refers to the moral code for nursing and is based on obligation to service and respect for human life” (McEwen et al 2007) Ethics underpins nursing practice and it is derived from different types of knowledge. Nurses must have a clear sense of where this knowledge comes from to understand the ethical issues they encounter. Therese Meehans Careful Nursing Philosophy and Professional Practice Model allows the core philosophical values of nursing practice such as dignity, kindness, compassion, and calmness to be present in nursing actions. It evokes thought from those who practice it. Meehan (2012) states that “spirituality is timelessly interwoven with nursing and
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