Understanding the importance of kindness in nursing practice
Intended for healthcare professionals

Understanding the importance of kindness in nursing practice

William Gage Lecturer in adult nursing, King’s College London, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To recognise the importance of kindness in providing high-quality care and improving patient outcomes

  • To consider how you could promote kindness towards patients or service users and among your colleagues in your practice

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

The word ‘kindness’ stems from the concept of kinship and how people relate to and work with others in society. This article outlines how kindness is a vital element of nursing practice, including how kindness is linked to the related concepts of compassion and civility. It explores kindness from the patient’s or service user’s perspective as one of the qualities they value most in nurses, as well as considering why kindness within a healthcare team is important to the delivery of safe and effective care. The author also discusses the concept of ‘self-kindness’ and the importance of leadership in developing an organisational culture that supports the provision of high-quality person-centred care.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e12082

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Gage W (2022) Understanding the importance of kindness in nursing practice. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2022.e12082

Published online: 22 December 2022

Want to read more?

Already subscribed? Log in


Unlock full access to RCNi Plus today

Save over 50% on your first 3 months

Your subscription package includes:
  • Unlimited online access to all 10 RCNi Journals and their archives
  • Customisable dashboard featuring 200+ topics
  • RCNi Learning featuring 180+ RCN accredited learning modules
  • RCNi Portfolio to build evidence for revalidation
  • Personalised newsletters tailored to your interests
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now