Philosophy of Nursing Assignment Guidelines and Grading Rubric

Purpose: Some of you may just be entering the field of nursing—with the ink on your RN license barely dry, while others of you have been career nurses for several years.  Whatever point you are in your nursing career, it is important to reflect on what nursing means to you.  Your philosophy of nursing is a deeply personal journey that is influenced by your personal beliefs and values, your family and culture, education, and your career goals and experiences.  All these factors contribute to who you are, what you believe, and how you act. Writing your philosophy is a process that may change along your professional career. This assignment challenges you to develop and articulate your personal philosophy of nursing, and describe the ideas of published authors that influence your beliefs and views of nursing.

Prepare:  Read, “Articulating your philosophy of nursing” by Janice Denehy (

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Find a quiet space to ponder these questions:

  • What are your general values related to the nature of humankind and society?
  • What are your values and beliefs that relate to the profession of nursing? To health and illness?  To healthcare recipients? To community? To other topics or concepts that define your practice as a nurse?
  • Who and what influenced your values and beliefs?
  • How do your personal beliefs and values relate to your perspectives on nursing?

Content: Address the following topics in a brief (no more than 3 pages, double-spaced) paper:

  • Introduce your nursing career choice, current practice, and vision of your future as a nurse.
  • Describe your general beliefs and values related to humankind and society—values that give direction to your journey in life.
  • Describe your values and beliefs that relate to nursing profession. Include perspectives on nursing, health and illness, recipients of care, and any other concepts you feel define your practice as a nurse.
  • Describe (and cite source) of at least TWO published works that influenced or ground your perspectives and/or define your practice as a nurse.
  • Describe how your personal beliefs and values relate to your ideas about nursing.

Format: This will be your first “official” APA format paper for the RN-BSN program.  You will be expected to develop an accurately formatted paper with title page, abstract, body of paper and reference sections.  The paper should have 1” margins and be double-spaced, Times New Roman, 12-point font.  A Sample APA Paper with further guidelines is included in the Student Resources module, and can be used as a template for this paper.

Discussion:  Based on the ideas and perspectives articulated in your Nursing Philosophy paper, develop and post a short (100 words or less) statement that reflects your personal and professional values—a Nursing Philosophy Statement. See detailed instructions on Discussion assignment.

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