The relevance of spirituality to nursing practice and education
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The relevance of spirituality to nursing practice and education

Lisa Pullen Professor, Lincoln Memorial University in Knoxville, Tennessee
Sandra McGuire Former assistant dean, Lincoln Memorial University in Knoxville, Tennessee
Lisa Farmer Mental health practitioner, Bledsoe County Detention Center, Tennessee
Donovan Dodd Mental health nurse practitioner, Morgan County Detention Center, Tennessee

Many nurses are not confident about addressing this aspect of care, yet the spiritual needs of patients have a fundamental role in nursing and recovery, state Lisa Pullen and colleagues

Nursing research has shown that taking care of the spiritual needs of service users is an essential part of holistic practice, and is significantly related to physical and psychological health, clinical outcomes and quality of life. This article discusses the relevance of spirituality to nursing practice and education, particularly in the field of mental health, and to nursing research. t also describes and some tools that can be used to assess spirituality.

Being present to the person and listening respectfully are often the most important factors in attempting to provide such needs. However, many nurses do not feel adequately prepared to assess and identify these needs, and they are poorly resourced to provide interventions. This has significant implications for nursing education and organisations. Further research is needed to promote a better understanding of spirituality and spiritual care in nursing. This could also enable appropriate nursing interventions to be designed and implemented, curricular materials and opportunities to be developed and competent teaching and supervision to be carried out.

Mental Health Practice. 18, 5, 14-18. doi: 10.7748/mhp.18.5.14.e916


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 29 July 2013

Accepted: 14 April 2014

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