The Meaning of Philosophy


Module 7: Module Notes: The Meaning of Philosophy

As we move into understanding what a philosophy is, what direction will your philosophy take you? Almost always, we can speculate that best evidence lies at one end of a linear spectrum with a lens for specificity while philosophy lies at the opposite end with a lens for generalities and speculations.  However, nurse theorist Dr. Martha Rogers suggests there is a link or reciprocal relationship between science and philosophy. She explains each feeds upon each other, yet each is able to maintain its own integrity and distinctions. While philosophers suggest philosophy is a way to contemplate, organize, and find meaning to our thoughts, ideas and actions.

Articulating our values and beliefs about nursing helps us form an intellectual and philosophical awareness of nursing as an art and science profession. Just as authenticity is being in touch with ourselves, through reflection we can uncover many meaningful experiences, thoughtful interactions, and graceful moments with others that help place meaning to what we believe to be true about nursing and now as a baccalaureate prepared nurse. So where are we when it comes to professing a philosophy? What do we speculate to be true about nursing? Where will nursing take you as you continue to develop and mature as a professional? What landscape will you paint on a blank canvas that captures the future direction of nursing?

At Excelsior College, the School of Nursing has gone through this very same exercise in the Spring, 2014. We have contemplated, clarified, organized, and found a collective meaning to what nursing in academia means to us, what we envision as contemporary practice, and how to meet the future of nursing as a group of nurse educators. So go back and revisit the School of Nursing Vision, Philosophy, and Organizing Framework once again. Use this information to not only build your own philosophical thoughts but also to see how the connections to your baccalaureate curriculum and how it was designed around all those student learning program outcomes you have appraised and accomplished. Although our philosophical model is based on an educational direction within an academic institution, you can modify your philosophy and vision for professional nursing practice or service to populations, communities, individuals and their families. A vision for nursing could focus on quality, health promotion, a caring paradigm, humanistic nursing principles; the vision statement embodies your personal philosophy of nursing with core values and concepts you believe in and you are willing to uphold as a professional.

References

Carper, B. (1992). Philosophical Inquiry in Nursing: An Application. In J. F. Kikuchi & H. Simons (Eds.). Philosophical inquiry in nursing. Sage.

Excelsior College School of Nursing (2014). Vision Statement, Philosophy, and Organizing Framework. https://my.excelsior.edu/documents/78666/102207/Nursing_Catalog.pdf/cd58ff27-7254-4755-a8c4-6dcfe39d78a0#page3

Rogers, M. (1970). An introduction to the theoretical basis of nursing. Davis.

In Module 7 activities, each of you will be developing your own philosophy of nursing and vision of nursing.  We will continue to review EPSLOs and add to those reflective of caring and patient centered care (EPSLO 1), commitment to excellence and lifelong learning (EPSLO 4), contributions to the unique role of the nurse leader (EPSLO 5), and a personal search for meaning with curiosity and inquisitiveness (EPSLO 6).  

 

 

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