Nurse Practice Organization Philosophy of Nursing

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October 12, 1993

Updated October 7, 1998
Updated September 28, 2004 to reflect departmental reorganization

We believe that the consumer of our services is a unique, holistic, multicultural individual with rights and responsibilities and the potential to adapt, learn, influence others, attain independence, and exercise self-determination.

We define health as a state of adaptation in which the individual strives to achieve an optimal level of functioning through the integration of biological, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions. Illness is the presence of a dysfunctional state due to stress on the system which interferes with optimal functioning along a continuum of time and circumstances. Disability is a state which interferes with optimal functioning and may be an impediment to learning and growth without habilitation or rehabilitation.

We believe that the roles of nursing in the DSHS State Hospitals service system include: provision of individualized holistic health services through application of the nursing process; provision of education of customers, including consumers of nursing services, agency personnel, the public, and others; fostering professional development; provision of leadership through mediation, liaison, arbitration, role modeling, and mentoring; and, promotion of health through team collaboration, advocacy, and serving as facilitator/coordinator.

Professional nurses have a right to a safe and supportive work environment, including administrative support in the form of financial resources, adequate equipment and supplies, informational resources, empowerment, opportunities for collaboration, and an environment free of fear. Professional nurses also have a right to adequate training, including proper orientation and continuing education.

Professional nurses are responsible to provide quality nursing services, including: safety for consumers, families, staff, and the community; promotion of independent and self-care behaviors; implementation of the nursing process; health promotion and education for consumers, families, staff, and the community; innovations in nursing services; individualization of care including cultural awareness and respect; physical, psychological, and emotional support; and, participation in interdisciplinary treatments and service planning. Professional nurses are accountable for nursing practice, that is, to practice ethically, to be prepared for caregiving, to provide cost-effective care, and to continually improve practice through ongoing education.

The recipients of nursing service within the DSHS State Hospitals services system possess certain rights, including the right to: be treated with respect, dignity, and a nonjudgmental approach; live or be treated in locations driven by consumer choice; make decisions after being informed of choices, including the right to participate in an individualized treatment/service planning process; receive high quality services; a treatment/service approach that embraces the principle of family involvement; customer-driven/focused services; refuse services, including the right to refuse services that would allow death with dignity; and, advocacy when unable to practice self-advocacy.

Consumers of nursing services in the DSHS State Hospitals service system are responsible to: attain knowledge for informed decision-making; develop, integrate, and practice behaviors which promote and maintain optimal health; express needs, desires, and choices during treatment/service planning activities; seek/find preventive services and acute/chronic care at the appropriate level of service and with the appropriate level of service provider; treat caregivers reciprocally with respect and dignity; and respect the rights of other consumers of services.

Nurses have an ethical obligation to provide quality nursing services to individual consumers with respect for their social, ethnocultural and economic status, personal attributes, and the nature of their healthcare needs. Nurses also have an ethical obligation to promote access and continuity of care for healthcare consumers, and to collaborate in interdisciplinary efforts to promote the consumer's self-care through comprehensive assessment, accurate diagnosis, and individualized treatment/service. The nurse participates in DSHS State Hospitals's efforts to protect consumers from misinformation, misrepresentation, and unsafe practices.

Nurses with DSHS State Hospitals believe that the consumer has the right to privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, empowerment for treatment/service choices, and provision of services in locations driven by consumer-choice.

Please direct all questions regarding this page to: Deborah Cobb

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Last updated March 23, 2010