The notion of personal nursing educational philosophy is a crucial aspect of professional medical practice. It is dependent on personal experiential patterns, educational course, exposure, major purposes, priorities, and values (Billings & Halstead, 2012). The process of preferential choice, as well as formation and adherence to a particular nursing education philosophy, is performed due to the personal experiences, beliefs, and attitudes of both a learner and a teacher (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010). Hence, personal philosophy is molded during the learning process, interaction with the counterparts, under the tutors’ impact, and in the course of individual exploration.
The variety of learning theories provides vast space for an in-depth insight and constructive examination of the preferable philosophy. These approaches to learning predetermine my current knowledge, skills and beliefs as well as further professional activity. My insights and comprehension of the true value in terms of nursing educational process have been enhanced and altered. In fact, a process of improvement of knowledge and reconsideration prepares students to the future role of professional nurse and tutor since they require not only profound knowledge and competent skills but also social interaction and constant learning. After the study, comparison and analysis of the main approaches, it became evident that I comply with such nursing educational philosophies as hermeneutics, humanism, existentialism, idealism, postmodernism, pragmatism and progressivism. I believe there is no universal philosophy since there are diverse cases and every patient as well as colleague is an individual. Therefore, I am confident that several philosophies should be prioritized in such a way so as to meet the needs of the learner and consequently to handle practical tasks and challenges of the professional nurse.
Hermeneutics is significant since it is incorporated into variety of disciplines with the utmost purpose of contributing to interpretation course. To be more precise, this theory and method of interpretation is usually used in order to comprehend the essence of the utterance, behavioral patterns or other aspects of human interaction such as to reveal the implicit meaning. According to Billings and Halstead (2012), hermeneutical approach perceives individuals as self-interpreting beings. Moreover, it is stated that every individual is predetermined by personal opinions, attitudes, and experience (Billings & Halstead, 2012). Hence, the previous experience of both individual and professional development should be focused on and interpreted properly (Billings & Halstead, 2012). I comply with this nursing education philosophy as far as it positions personal experience as a core element of the nursing paradigm. I believe that every theory has no value without practice. Moreover, I am confident that the experience without proper analysis and relevant and justified interpretation is simply a sequence of deeds and interactions, regardless of how skillful and appropriate they may be. Hermeneutics in terms of nursing involves three constructive strategies, namely paradigm cases, exemplars, and thematic analysis.
The phenomenon of progressivism is a type of philosophy that is oriented on the perspective goal of the nursing education in the future (Billings & Halstead, 2012). It is essential for me as far as I believe that nursing is a vocation, and being a nurse requires profound comprehension of this profession as well as constant enhancement of the current level of competence. Therefore, it is important that progressivism perceives the fundamental purpose of the nursing education to be the natural capacity of the learner to interact with the world under different circumstances. Hence, the overall educational environment is focused on demonstration of the possible and genuine problems that usually emerge in the routine nursing practice and may be a problem for a new professional or the one who lacks correspondent experience (Billings & Halstead, 2012). As a result, such situations need to be solved in the course of learning in order to stimulate proper reaction and rightful solution to similar cases in the future. It is crucial for me that such philosophical approach contributes to the overall development of a nurse and is not narrowed to a particular sphere of further professional activity since nursing is multidimensional in practice. Furthermore, the learners make choices constantly, and such practice requires sufficient knowledge, enhances their skills and understanding of the routine nursing activity. The teacher becomes a facilitator under such nursing education philosophical approach. I support the statement of progressivism that a student is a central part of the whole educational process. I also believe that competence may be gained only by means of making mistakes in practice, learning the lesson and then making proper choices.
Humanism is a fundamental philosophy for me both in general and nursing in particular. Respect for the dignity of every learner is the utmost ethical standard that should by all means be properly followed (Cannon & Boswell, 2012). Moreover, every student is an individual and a future professional. Therefore, the teachers should respect their opinion and attitude as well as explain and facilitate improvements and development but never to confront. It is also important to admit that the major goal of humanistic educational process is self-actualization of the learners (Billings & Halstead, 2012). I especially appreciate the contribution of the teachers who discover one’s potential and assist in its development. In such a way, a true professional is educated. I also believe that such approach helps both in nursing practice and in scientific work. In fact, humanism may be perceived as a background for any other educational approach that is more specific and focuses on particular aspects of nursing learning course.
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The philosophy of existentialism is not the most relevant and suitable for me, but there is a crucial value I appreciate, namely the ultimate significance of the personal choice. According to the aforementioned nursing education philosophy, the major goal of learning is to contribute to the process of exploration of the core reasons of individual’s existence (Billings & Halstead, 2012). Nonetheless, I believe that the mission of existence and its potential are also essential as educational goals, and the knowledge about reasons does not provide learners with sufficient information that may be applied in daily practice of an average nurse.
Such nursing education philosophy as idealism is constructive but not significantly efficient in terms of further nursing practice. To be more precise, I give priority to the search for ultimate truth, but I believe there are such cases when there is no universal answer or single solution to particular nursing dilemma. The reason is that nursing practice requires individual approach, psychological strategies and profound comprehension of the human nature. Nevertheless, idealistic approach helps learners realize how to search for the answer, test the options and select the most relevant one. Moreover, students gain knowledge of how to learn properly, and this is one of the fundamental capacities nursing personnel should acquire and develop.
The phenomenon of postmodernism is a comparatively new but significant nursing education philosophy. However, this philosophy was not a popular one in the recent course of time. My vision of the given philosophical direction is dependent on the outcomes it helps achieve and significant skills and capacities to enhance. To be more precise, Garrett (2007) highlights that according to postmodern philosophy, it is “useful to gain new insights, raise consciousness, and challenge dogma” (p. 355). The scholar provides a vivid example that illustrates the depth and overall potential of the given philosophy, “For example, getting a class to work through the idea that absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence, and what implications that this has for nursing research would be a useful exercise” (Garrett, 2007, p. 355). Furthermore, I highly appreciate that postmodernism values the diversity of scientific thoughts and encourages innovative approaches to both nursing research and practice (Billings & Halstead, 2012). Contemporary nursing education demonstrates a distinct lack of innovation and constructive change. Therefore, I believe that the currently discussed philosophy may significantly contribute to it.
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Finally, I partially comply with the philosophy of pragmatism. The notion of “real-world” experience is crucial in terms of nursing education as far as a true professional is efficient under diverse circumstances that may happen during clinical practice (Gaberson, Oermann & Shellenbarger, 2015). There is also a miscellaneous conception of the truth within the philosophy of pragmatism since it defines it as a relative concept in terms of individual experience (Billings & Halsted, 2012). Nevertheless, I believe that there should be particular adamant truths that are imperative for any nursing activity or decision and the basis for further research.
Thus, a professional nurse should combine several personal nursing education philosophies in order to be efficient and highly competent in this sphere of performance. I comply with the fundamental values, priorities, and strategies of such philosophies as hermeneutics, humanism, existentialism, idealism, postmodernism, pragmatism, and progressivism, whereas the most crucial ones for me are humanism, postmodernism, and progressivism since they satisfy the requirements of the modern nursing scope and can contribute to its qualitative enhancement.