The Invisibility of Spiritual Nursing Care in Clinical Practice

Co-written by Dawn Hawthorne and Shirley Gordon, this article – which applies to mental health nursing as a well as nursing in general – has been published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing. The abstract says:

Background and Purpose: Spirituality has been identified as the essence of being human and is recognized, by many health care professionals, as a central component in health and healing. Scholars have identified spiritual nursing care as essential to nursing practice and include caring for the human spirit through the development of relationships and interconnectedness between the nurse and the patient. However, despite the recognition of spiritual practices as important to health, little attention has been given to spirituality in nursing practice and education in the literature. The purpose of this article is to explore factors contributing to the invisibility of spiritual nursing care practices (SNCP), recognition and offer strategies to enhance the visibility of SNCP. Two major factors that reduce visibility of SNCP are conceptual confusion differentiating between spirituality and religion and limited education in the area of spirituality including nursing curricula and organizations. Strategies to enhance visibility of SNCP include educational approaches in nursing curricula and health care organizations. to influence nurses’ perceptions about spirituality and creation of a culture of spiritual care. 

Conclusion: Holistic nursing includes assessing and responding to the spiritual needs of patients. Changes in nursing education and health care systems are needed to increase the visibility of SNCP.”

You can read the article from here.

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