How to Combine the Practice of Philosophy with Your Chosen Career as a Nurse

The art of philosophy is one that can be applied to every single area of your life, in both a personal and a professional context. However, the majority of people across the length and breadth of this country and beyond tend to either subconsciously apply a philosophical point of view to how they live their life or else neglect to make any connection with philosophy and their daily life at all.

If you are a professional currently working in the medical, healthcare, or nursing field and want to explore an interest in philosophy, then continue reading to learn how to combine the study of philosophy with your chosen career in healthcare.

The Copious Benefits of Pursuing Nursing & Healthcare

If you are either intent on working in the field of healthcare and nursing in the future, are currently training to be a nurse, or else have been a practicing professional nurse for many years now, no matter what stage you are in your career, you will be aware of just how challenging, yet simultaneously rewarding, a career as a nurse can be.

Now, more than ever, due in no small part to the disruption and turmoil created by the direct effects of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the various faults, gaps, and shortcomings in the US healthcare system are more visible. Admittedly, there are a number of challenges and issues currently facing working nurses, but there is also a myriad of fantastic and life-affirming benefits as well.

One of the major benefits to the pursuit of a career in nursing and/or healthcare is an almost unrivaled level of job security, as well as attractive career pathway benefits and exceedingly competitive salaries. From a 2021 study, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics released a statement whereby they predicted an approximate nine percent growth in the demand for nurses, and together with the average US nurse’s salary being around eighty thousand pounds, nursing really can be an extremely lucrative career to pursue.

Other standout benefits of becoming a professional working nurse include, but are in no way limited to, the following:

  • A flexible schedule and the option to pick and choose your working hours
  • Benefits such as paid family leave, childcare, life and health insurance, reimbursement on tuition, and paid holidays and vacations
  • A rewarding and life-affirming way to spend your working day
  • A wide range of continuing opportunities for advancing your career
  • Vast areas of specialisms to choose from

Pursue a Ph.D. in Nursing

If you are currently a working nurse who feels as if they want to work towards inciting real and visible changes to the way in which either patients are treated or else nurses are required to operate, then the best possible way of helping you achieve this admirable goal is through the pursuit of a Ph.D. in nursing.

These days, one of the best and strongest advantages of the seemingly total takeover of the internet in terms of both usage and influence is that it is now possible to embark upon an incredibly rewarding yet equally as challenging, multi-beneficial PhD in nursing on line, which will stand you in incredible professional stead for your career, as well as enhancing your own philosophy and application to your personal life as well. 

There is a wide plethora of incredible advantages to pursuing a Ph.D. in nursing in terms of career enhancement, including but in no way limited to the following:

  • Improving the overall care practices in medical institutions, including large hospitals, by the analysis of information and data from not only in this country but from around the world
  • The monitoring and mentoring of new nurses and student nurses
  • The opportunity to move into overseeing the individual healthcare policies and nursing practices of their local area, their state, and even across the country
  • The leading healthcare organizations internationally as well as nationally

Skills, Attributes, and Beliefs Intrinsic to Nursing

When discussing the combination and unification of philosophy and nursing, it is important to recognize just how closely connected the two are.

It takes a specific type of person to be able to handle the emotional challenges, as well as physical and workload challenges, to be able to prosper as a successful nurse, and the following skills and attributes pertaining to your individual life philosophy will certainly help your career be fruitful and be rewarding.

Open-Mindedness

One aspect of an individual’s mindsight and how they apply themselves to their everyday lives, both in a professional and a personal way, which is of great benefit to those who are either working as or thinking of becoming a nurse.

As a professional and practicing nurse, you will be used to interacting with and treating people from literally all proverbial walks of life and, as a result, will be used to encountering opinions, belief systems, and passionate behavior and thinking, which is often in direct contrast with that of your own.

Some examples of situations where a degree of natural open-mindedness can be not just useful but is frankly fairly mandatory include:

  • An individual patient who refuses to vaccinate their child due to things they have heard or read in the media
  • An individual patient who adamantly declines the professional advice to have a blood transfusion based on their personal faith and religious beliefs

Being culturally competent is a huge part of the professional daily life of a nurse, especially in modern times, and a philosophy of letting people live their lives in the manner in which they see fit is a perfect example of a strong attribute that makes for an excellent nurse.

A Strong Stance on Ethics

Just as important as having an open mind when it comes to meeting, conversing, and treating people from all walks of life, a strong sense of personal morals and a firm stance on ethics is also a great idea.

Having an intrinsic and instant sense of what is right and, conversely, what is wrong, is one of the best tools for a professional and practicing nurses to best conquer the challenges they face on an almost daily basis. This internal moral compass guides nurses to make the right decisions for the individual patient’s best interests, both in terms of their physical health and wellbeing as well as their emotional state.

Additionally, it can sometimes be the case where you will have to stand up for what is right in terms of what an individual patient feels is best for them and even if they feel uncomfortable or wry about hearing your professional diagnosis and medical advice and treatment schedule, you will persevere because you know it is the right thing to do.

Reliability

If you break down the intrinsic and basic meaning of the word ‘reliability‘, it comes down to always, no matter what, being able to do exactly what is asked and expected of you in a professional sense and always, unequivocally, doing what is asked to the best of your ability and therefore reliability is so important for a career as a nurse.

Furthermore, if you are working amongst a team of nurses in a certain hospital or even on a specific ward and another nurse drops the proverbial ball, it is your job to be reliable enough to ensure you pick the ball back up without causing a fuss and without making a big show of having to do it.

Assertiveness

Essentially, an intrinsic ability to be assertive is important when a certain situation calls for the skills and aptitude to express their own personal feelings and thoughts and a natural insistence to be respected.

As communicating is such a huge and vital part of a practicing nurse’s daily life, it is exceedingly advantageous for nurses to practice being assertive without ever falling into the trap of becoming aggressive.

While being aggressive can only ever have a negative impact on the patient and the current situation, being assertive shows a mutual respect between your professional position and the patient’s personal needs, desires, and fundamental human rights.

A Natural Desire to Learn

As a professional, practicing, and registered nurse, both in the United States and overseas, it is proverbially part and parcel of the career pathway you have chosen to always keep abreast of the latest medical innovations and the changes in which treatments are administered, as well as the overall standards to patient care.

When you first start out or are about to start out in your nursing career, no one, not the patients themselves, your nursing mentor, your boss, or your peers, expects that you know absolutely everything there is to know about the world of nursing.

However, what they will expect from you is that you are able to make reasoned, researched, and sound choices and decisions that are the best possible way forward for your patients and that you are still able to follow the same decision main processes in high pressure and often complicated situations.

If you are someone, therefore, which takes advantage of every single learning opportunity presented to them, then you will not only be taken much more seriously as a nurse, but you will also command instant respect from everyone around you.

Excellent Communication Skills

As previously discussed, a large part of a nurse’s daily conversations and interactions involve communicating treatment schedules, reasons for a particular test or procedure, or even talking through what is happening to close family members as well as the patient themselves.

It is for this reason that the final standout attribute in terms of the individual make-up of a person who has dedicated their professional working life to nursing is that of an exceedingly strong set of communication skills and the ability to essentially talk to anyone about anything.

Nurses are constantly collecting, analyzing, and then relaying critical information and data to patients, patients’ families, and doctors, as well as other medical professionals and nursing colleagues, so it therefore naturally imperative for the information to not only be relayed accurately, but also in the correct manner.

How to Develop Your Own Personal Nursing Philosophy

As your nursing career develops and you are presented, and one would hope, take advantage of the specific opportunities which are presented to you throughout your career, you will naturally develop your own applied nursing philosophy.

However, it can be exceedingly useful, not to mention infinitely beneficial, to actively work on this development of your own personal nursing philosophy, and the following hints and tips may well help you to do this:

  1. Examine and subsequently determine your own individual reasons for pursuing a career in nursing and what nursing means to you
  2. Physically write down in a list the ways in which you approach the caring of an individual patient while working and your personal values which contribute to this care. Examples of this could include patience, integrity, a sense of community, equality, and fairness, accountability, and a passion and respect for teamwork
  3. Consider where you want to be in your profession in one year, three years, five years, and ten years from now, and examine your personal goals in terms of how and why you want to advance your career in nursing
  4. Write down your personal strengths as a practicing nurse and even ask your mentor and nursing colleagues as to what they believe your particular strengths are. Examples of nursing strengths you may see to be part of why you are such a committed, passionate nurse could include natural kindness, leadership skills, time management, good people skills, a strong sense of right and wrong, organizational skills, integrity, empathy, and interpersonal communication skills.
  5. Try to identify the deep-seated reasons why becoming and being a nurse is so important to you and what you personally receive from treating and caring for your patients. Examples of this could include helping the family of the bereaved, watching other nurses take care of a loved one at work, or looking up to a professional mentor

By Malik