Nursing Sample Annotated Bibliography Paper on Spirituality in Nursing

Spirituality in Nursing

Nursing practice is evaluated in terms of spiritual attitude demonstrated by nurses in patient care, participation of nurses in the provision of holistic care, as well as taking the role of healing. Spirituality can be defined as an act of giving ultimate meaning and purpose to another individual’s life, and having a particular relationship with others, as well as the universe. Although critics have emerged to restrict aspects of religion in spirituality, most studies have proved that religious involvement is necessary to help in coping with health issues. This study will focus on spirituality and its effect in nursing practice.

Reinert, K. G., & Koenig, H. G. (2013). Re-examining definitions of spirituality in nursing research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(12), 2622-2634. doi:10.1111/jan.12152

This article aims at explaining spirituality as well as limitations that it creates in nursing research. Several studies carried out about spirituality do not offer clarity of the topic due to diversity of culture, as well as individualized preferences. Reinert and Koenig based their explanation for spirituality on Florence Nightingale, who termed nursing practice as providing care to the whole person, which should include physical, mental and spiritual needs. Spirituality in this study incorporates personal exploration for purpose and meaning in life, but does not necessarily involve religion. The nature of individual’s spiritual experience can create either negative emotions or positive meaning to life depending on individual’s culture. Traditionally, spirituality was based on religious experience, or transcendent Superior God, but the attempt by nursing professionals to involve other individuals who do not believe in religious views led to spirituality without religion. This study supports the empiricist view of having objective measurement while verifying any nursing concept. 

A qualitative study of spirituality definitions exposed several inconsistencies in its measurement, hence, raising doubts about the results. This is because the studies failed to incorporate religious aspects, such as beliefs, practices, and adopted behaviors. The studies suggested that religious aspects are vital for raising hope, as well as assisting in coping with health problems. To create a quantifiable relationship among spirituality, mental health, and religion, health researchers should consider a definition of spirituality, which does not include tautology in its nature. Thus, spirituality in nursing should incorporate religion to attain a uniform measure for assessing mental health outcomes. However, the authors recommend further research to clarify the influence of spirituality in nursing, as well as other aspects that may create such influence. Choosing adequate definitions to express spirituality can help in minimizing symptoms that need spiritual intervention.

Swinton, J., & Pattison, S. (2010). Moving beyond clarity: towards a thin, vague, and useful understanding of spirituality in nursing care. Nursing Philosophy, 11(4), 226-237. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2010.00450.x

This article perceives spirituality as a highly contested aspect in the study of nursing. The critics that emerged on validity and authenticity of spirituality are usually divided into three arguments. First, the term spirituality can be used endlessly in different ways. Second, spirituality, or spiritual care, do not necessary concern objects within people or the world. Third, spirituality does not exist because its usage is emergent and changing, hence, lack legitimacy. The aspect of language is exceedingly essential in spirituality as it assists in promoting nursing practice. Due to disorderly in illness and death, matters of spirituality should be perceived as universally valid. Spirituality in this sense does not have any relationship with religion, even though nurses believe existence of God. According to Swinton and Pattison, most healthcare professionals have rejected the concept of spirituality since they prefer a more naturalistic viewpoint, which does not incorporate religion.

The two authors argued that it is not clear why the prefix ‘care’ is added to ‘spiritual’ yet it could simply be called good personal-centered care. However, spirituality is a form of social construction in nursing theories due its ontology, which is interpreted in numerous ways. These articles do not focus on natural or supernatural concepts of understanding spirituality. Instead, they concentrate on how spirituality can be applied in various issues in nursing practice. Spirituality offers a limit to language to demonstrate positive assertion of ideas into nursing practice. It tends to name the ‘absences’ instead of the ‘presences’, as it focus on hope, love, connectedness, and meaning. In addition, spirituality resists inadequacies that could emerge in nursing and patient care. In conclusion, the article states that spirituality in nursing is like tying a rope around a particular area in the wild to allow wild animals to develop and flourish.

References

Reinert, K. G., & Koenig, H. G. (2013). Re-examining definitions of spirituality in nursing research. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(12), 2622-2634. doi:10.1111/jan.12152

Swinton, J., & Pattison, S. (2010). Moving beyond clarity: towards a thin, vague, and useful understanding of spirituality in nursing care. Nursing Philosophy, 11(4), 226-237. doi:10.1111/j.1466-769X.2010.00450.x