When defining a personal nursing philosophy, the individual nurse must not simply review his or her own schema of values and beliefs, but must also reassert their own personal confidence in their value system. By taking into consideration the frameworks of theorists, such as Kohlberg (1981) and Gilligan (1982), nurses will better understand their own personal values as well as the values of the profession (Burkhardt & Nathaniel, 2008). Theorists of the recent past must be viewed with a professional respect in order to ensure that a nurse coming into an increasingly difficult health care environment has a core sense of their own personal and professional values and is also flexible enough to respond to individual obstacles, which they may encounter over the course of their nursing career.
The purpose of this paper is to describe an event in which two or more personal values were demonstrated and describe how these values influenced the professional decisions that were made. It will further assess the level of development of these values. Personal values will be differentiated from those of the institution and in will be discussed where these values are compatible and where they result in conflict. Finally, it will describe how these values align with the specific tenets of the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics.
Nurses have one patient and one event that stay with them throughout their career. It is the patient that they never forget, the interaction that will influence all future interactions, and the event that leads to their self-awareness.