How the topic affects employees, and How it will affect the company and human resources policies and procedures Use of references and meeting assignment requirements
September 12, 2018
Consider ways in which you incorporate holistic care principles in your professional practice.
September 12, 2018

Take a moment to reflect on how you demonstrate caring in your current professional practice. What are barriers to practicing care? How can you enhance caring behaviors?

Holistic Care in Nursing Essay

Caring is a central concept to nursing and has been since the beginning of the profession. Over time, healthcare delivery and settings have changed as a result of technological and knowledge advancements, an increasingly diverse patient population, a  shifting focus to decreased healthcare costs, increased quality and safety outcomes, and promoting person-centered care, among other factors. With these changes, a transformation of nursing is occurring. However, nurses must be mindful not to lose sight of caring at the core of nursing practice. Caring frameworks that include holistic and person-centered care can be used to guide the practice of the master’s- prepared nurses in advanced practice roles as leaders of nursing care in varied healthcare settings.

Caring as a Nursing Concept 

Caring can be classified in two ways: as a noun and as an adjective (Adams, 2016). As a noun, it is the act of care, or as an adjective, it is the demonstration or action of caring. Nursing has a scientific knowledge base of empirical care practices and personal, ethical, and aesthetic knowledge that are demonstrated in attitudes and behaviors that portray caring. Drahošová and Jarošová (2016) discussed many aspects of caring, including protection and support of patients through evidence-based interventions, developing relationships, and a way of nursing practice. Caring is influenced by the nurse’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes formed through lifelong learning and experiences.

The concept of caring has been a focus area of nursing for years. Interestingly, the American Nurses Association (2016) defines nursing as:

…the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.

The concept of caring is not explicit in this definition, so why is caring a central focus of nursing? Nursing theorist Jean Watson contended that caring is the moral ideal and essence of nursing (Watson, 1990). Adams and Maykut (2015) acknowledged nursing as a helping profession, and therefore, caring is a unique and relational practice of nurses. Similarly, Duffy (2015) defines caring as a series of kind acts and an attitude in addition to collective values and knowledge-based actions that are guided by human-to-human relationships.

Caring is manifested in relationships. As a master’s- prepared advanced practice nurse you will have daily opportunities to demonstrate caring behaviors that establish relationships and promote positive outcomes in varied professional practice settings. Drahošová and Jarošová (2016) identified caring behaviors as attentiveness to patients; communicating openly and honestly ; providing dignity, respect, and comfort; and connecting with patients and families.


Take a moment to reflect on how you demonstrate caring in your current professional practice. What are barriers to practicing care? How can you enhance caring behaviors?

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