3 Attributes That Make Up a Nurse’s Philosophy

A personal nurse’s philosophy is a statement declaring that nurse’s “beliefs, attitudes, actions, hopes, dream, and desires and drives the ethical behaviors of the individual,” according to nursetheory.com. Indeed, a nurse’s philosophical statement should indicate what that person values in their professional life as a carer of others. While every nurse’s statement will differ from one another in a variety of ways, there are usually three main qualities that sum up the bulk of that philosophy. As you set out to create your own philosophy statement, consider the following three attributes that make up a nurse’s philosophy.


Personal accountability includes the willingness to take responsibility for one’s actions, whether they are good or bad. Accountability of a nurse includes being accountable not only for oneself but also to others. Physicians, patients, family members, and even other nurses rely on this accountability to create a level of trust.

Making a point of being accountable for yourself as a nurse means that you should take ownership of your knowledge and skills. You should continually seek to improve your abilities as a nurse by continuing your education, participating in certification courses, and doing research on the latest treatments, techniques, and medications.

Another part of personal accountability is having the drive to continue improving even in the face of obstacles. If you’ve been working for a while, you know that there is no shortage of complications that could impede your personal progress. However, accountability means that you don’t let these things prevent you from doing what needs to be done. In understanding your scope of practice, you won’t allow roadblocks to dictate your success in the workplace and you won’t allow other people to keep you from doing your duties.


Compassionate care is the ultimate goal of nursing. This means that to be a truly effective nurse, you need to be able to express love and compassion for those that you serve, even if you don’t particularly like that person. This can be difficult, of course, especially because it requires nurses to offer the same level of compassion to everyone, regardless of their personal beliefs or lifestyle.

Compassion requires that you treat each patient with respect, even if they don’t show you the same respect. This will require a great deal of patience in some cases but practicing this is of the utmost importance. To offer compassionate care to your patients, you must try to have empathy for their situation. They will most likely be worried, afraid, sick, and/or in pain – these things would make anyone a little upset! Try to remember that they don’t want to be in the hospital and are feeling uncomfortable with their situation. Treat them like the human beings they are, with the dignity that they deserve.


Part of being professional as a nurse is understanding the scope of practice. In other words, you should know what you are expected to do, what you are allowed to do, and what you shouldn’t do. You should be very familiar with the protocols and policies of your facility. You should understand the standards of practice as well as the code of ethics expected of nurses. You should have a high level of confidence in what you can do and what is expected of you in your specific position.

Professionalism also includes the fact that you should be properly licensed and certified for any work you do in a nursing capacity. You should take the utmost care to make sure that your qualifications are up to date and that you are current on the newest trends in healthcare.

Finally, you should pay particularly close attention to oversight and monitoring. You will be under scrutiny by supervisors and physicians, so it is critical that you perform your duties to the best of your ability. If you are in a supervisory position, you will also be overseeing the work of other nurses. Your attention is a crucial part of ensuring a safe and effective staff.

Final Thoughts

Creating a personal philosophical statement is an important part of helping nurses solidify the “why” of their work for themselves and for others. By creating this statement using the base attributes of accountability, compassion, and professionalism, you will stand out as a successful and effective nurse in the competitive and complicated world of healthcare.

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