Developing and maintaining compassionate care in nursing
Intended for healthcare professionals
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Developing and maintaining compassionate care in nursing

Amanda Henderson Nursing director, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health, Queensland, Australia
Jenny Jones Ethicist, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Metro South Health, Queensland, Australia

Compassionate care is a fundamental aspect of nursing, and is an important value that is embedded in nurses’ professional standards and codes of practice. However, nurses may experience several challenges in their practice that can impede their ability to provide compassionate care. This article aims to support and guide nurses in developing their capacity to be compassionate. It explores concepts related to compassion, including compassion satisfaction, fatigue, literacy and self-compassion, and outlines strategies that nurses can implement to promote compassionate care. This article encourages nurses to identify their personal and professional values, to understand how these can influence their attitudes and behaviours. By raising awareness of these concepts, as well as the challenges and changing nature of compassion, it is hoped that nurses’ capacity to provide compassionate care will be enhanced.

Nursing Standard. 32, 4, 60-69. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10895


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

Received: 12 May 2017

Accepted: 26 July 2017

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