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Respond individually to the following 3 discussion posts:
1. The description of the ‘purpose of nursing’ is an essential parameter of professional and social
expression of nursing as a profession. Nurses are one of the crucial participants in the health
sector. Different group of people have different perceptions or opinions regarding their
purpose and the roles they play. From the interviews with the working group consisting of five
participants, the engaged nurses brainstormed what is meant by the purpose of nursing. Nurses
who are already in practice have a better understanding of who they are and their roles.
Nurses defined nursing as an art and science with a vast range of specialisms, knowledge, and
complex skills, and a profession that involves the heart and mind. Heart involvement entails the
respect nurses have for human dignity and catering for patient’s needs (Nolan, 2020). The
caring in the nurses’ hearts is supported by the mind through rigorous training. Nurses defined
to have a purpose with three main objectives. They identified to have the primary purpose of
evaluating the client’s health to identify actual and potential health conditions that may affect
the individual. After problem identification, they have the task of developing plans to meet the
identified client needs. They also make the necessary interventions to meet the identified
needs. Additionally, they identified themselves with being in charge of care provided to
hospitalized patients and conducting follow-up for outpatients.
Conversely, laypersons seem not to have a clear definition of nursing and its purpose .
Most of them defined nursing as a field of professionals who supports doctors in various health
facilities to provide treatment to their patients. In their opinion, the primary role of nurses is
providing support to physicians daily. They also play a part in administering medication,
recordkeeping, educating patients, and monitoring patient’s health. Nurses have the purpose of
preventing illness, promoting health, and providing care to the ill, disabled, and dying (“Roles of
nurses in specific care settings,” 2020). There are many different ways to define the purpose of nursing,
but many can agree that there is a common theme: to “deliver effective care to adults, children,
families and/or communities”. Qualitative research can enable healthcare providers to
gain understanding on how to improve patients’ quality of life by treating patients in general.
Additionally, qualitative research itself is essential to avoid the potential for the researcher’s
own conclusions in influencing the outcome.
Nolan, J. (2020). My supporting role. AJN, American Journal of Nursing, 120(4), 69-
Roles of nurses in specific care settings. (2020). Fast Facts for Dementia
2. “What is the purpose of nursing?”
Qualitative research is critical for studies about regulatory issues in nursing and across all health professions (Squires & Dorsen, 2018). Today while performing my qualitative research study, I pondered “what is the purpose of nursing?” I decided to postpone my reflections and I sent the same text message to ten (10) individuals. Five (5) laypeople, most of whom work in post-production in Hollywood, and five (5) recent registered nurses most of whom work in mental health nursing. I sent each of them a simple which said “Hello, can you please help me with a nursing school project? Please answer the following question – what is the purpose of nursing?”
Two (2) of the laypeople said that nurses do the work that the doctor orders them to do. Two (2) of them mentioned their most recent nursing experience which was getting vaccinated. The final layperson had an interesting response – he said that nurses help sick people get better. A bit simple, but not wrong.
The nurses took longer on average than the laypeople to respond to my question. I am uncertain if it is because they are overworked or if they were thinking of a “good” answer to this important question. Most of them said their purpose was to provide holistic care for all patients. One (1) of the mental health nurses said their purpose was to calm the patients from hurting themselves or other patients. I am certain that is a part of their purpose, but hopefully not all of it.
Squires, A., & Dorsen, C. (2018). Qualitative research in nursing and health professions regulation. Journal of Nursing Regulation, 9(3), 15–26. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2155-8256(18)30150-9
3. The purpose of nursing is a definition that cannot be established by a set of words and is constantly evolving just as the profession of nursing is constantly evolving. Nightengale (1969) describes the art of nursing to be clearly established to unmake what God had made disease to be, or in other words a reparative process. This is a very abstract principle of nursing but one that is so general that is encompasses the spectrum of nursing.
To identify what modern individuals felt the purpose of nursing was, a brief survey was conducted. Two groups of individuals, five nurses and five lay individuals, were asked the question “What is the purpose of nursing?”. The responses received from both groups, had some similarities but also some vast differences as well.
The responses to this question from the nurses were surprisingly briefer than that from the lay individuals. This may be contributed to the understanding that nurses know their purpose and have trouble defining the purpose for the vast roles that nurses play. The responses from the nurses were also geared more toward specific indications such as prevention, healing, education, catching mistakes and assessment.
The responses from the lay individuals were more generalized but more elaborate as well. These responses were geared towards addressing what the patient needed. Words such as caring, advocating, loving and educating about the patient were brought up.
The differences in responses were interesting. The lay individuals were likely thinking about the purpose of the nurse as a patient and what to expect a nurse to provide. The nurses’ responses were related to what the purpose of their job is in terms of their patients and duties. The similarities in the responses that no one indicated the nurse’s purpose to be anything other than positive.
Nightengale, F. (1969). Notes on Nursing What it is and what it is not. Dover Publications.