Nursing’s Metaparadigm: Personal Philosophy


The medical discipline seeks to skillfully get the dynamic relationship as a premise for activity and reflection to gain positive health directions and information that encourages future engagement and thought. Working with different categories of patients, a modern nurse creates an atmosphere of respectful attitude to the patient’s past and present, his life values, customs, and beliefs. Topics can also help educate professionals on principles and values, which are seen as the key to changing the paradigm of caregiver care from a biomedical to a recovery model. The purpose of the article is to define the philosophy of nursing and explore the influence of scientific culture on nursing theory development.


Human is an integral, self-regulating, dynamic biological system, a combination of physiological and spiritual needs, the fulfillment of which decides development, advancement, consolidation with the environment. The main principles of nursing philosophy are respect for the patient’s life, dignity, and rights. This philosophy is based on the universal principles of ethics and morality. The paper aims to identify the nursing metaparadigm and determine factors that affected change in this personal philosophy.

Personal Philosophy of Nursing

The nursing tenet reflects the sister’s worldview concerning her activities, the formation of a holistic view of nursing, and the role and place of nursing personnel. A person with biological, psychological, social, and spiritual needs is at the center of this philosophy. In other words, an individual has the right to an active, harmonious life and development to receive nursing services, regardless of religion and social status. The philosophy of nursing defines the nursing responsibilities, goals, and personality of a nurse, which states:

  • the nurse’s ethical responsibilities for patient care (maintaining confidentiality, respecting patient autonomy, telling the truth);
  • recognizing patients’ ways of life, including consumers’ subjectivity, life history, and diversity of values (Tanaka et al., 2018);
  • moral qualities or virtues, according to 6C’s strategy: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, and commitment (Meehan et al., 2018).

Changes in Personal Philosophy

Margaret Hardy first coined the term “metaparadigm” in nursing in 1978 and concluded that it is chaotic and requires more systematic thinking. She stated that “from a pre-paradigmatic to paradigmatic discipline, nurse scholars needed to do the difficult work of building theory in a poorly focused and unsystematic landscape, that is without a metaparadigm to guide them” (Bender, 2018, pp. 2). In contrast, Fawcett created three main links between concept and theme: “person – health”, “person-health-environment”, and “person – health – nursing” (Bender, 2018, p. 3). Unlike Hardy, Fawcett has made it clear that her metaparadigm does not reflect a view of nursing or the beliefs and values of nursing. Instead, she concluded that the identified relationships between concepts and topics embedded in her metaparadigm are the most abstract component in the structural hierarchy of knowledge in any discipline.

After such heated discussions, it was necessary to redefine and reconceptualize the metaparadigm and personal philosophy. Hardy introduced the metaparadigm concept to explain what is missing in care, a philosophical exposition of his unique disciplinary consistency, describing what motivates all nursing practice and research. Fawcett reworked the concept of metaparadigm to become a structure that could accommodate several existing nursing research, for instance, educational focuses, models of nursing practice, health theories, and, thus, to create a disciplinary discipline (Bender, 2018). Fawcett’s metaparadigm was innovative but flawed because it was constructed using philosophical assumptions about what science is, rather than using philosophical assumptions about what care is.

The approach to nursing entails conceptualizing the functioning, structure, and processes of health care. Fawcett did not create a link between nursing and the environment; however, there is a need to make visible the interdependent relationships between all domains of the meta-paradigm, a critical starting point for understanding the dynamics of nursing. Davina Allen contributed significantly to nursing by showing how nurses maintain awareness of different patient understandings and shift attention from the individual to organization and integrate this clinical, organizational knowledge into a distinctive professional perspective (Bender, 2018). Therefore, nurses manage the interaction between the patient and the environment to promote health or healing.

Factors Impacted Change in the Personal Philosophy

Numerous factors influence the development of philosophy in nursing in the context of science and practice. The prevailing culture of science, along with the ever-growing context of a growing technological environment and rationalization in healthcare, influences the formation of knowledge in nursing and the practice of patient care. In particular, the nature of intensive care and its high-tech environment makes it particularly vulnerable to these potentially negative impacts (Burns et al., 2020). The influence of a culture of science and an increasingly technical context of practice can lead to an over-reliance on the natural sciences to guide nursing action and the associated marginalization of caring relationships in nursing practice. In this environment, a philosophy of care cannot be the basis for a care action; rather, the dominant culture of science and the rationalization of health care can be informative for nursing practice.


The philosophy of nursing establishes the primary ethical responsibilities of professionals in the service of individuals and society, the goals to which the professional strives, the moral qualities, virtues, and skills expected from practitioners. The nurse’s priority is to create the conditions for the patient to achieve and maintain an optimal level of health. The nurse also acts as a regulator responsible for ensuring the balance of the behavioral system and functional stability of the patient.


Bender, M. (2018). Re‐conceptualizing the nursing metaparadigm: Articulating the philosophical ontology of the nursing discipline that orients inquiry and practice. Nursing Inquiry, 25(3), 1-9.

Burns, M., Bally, J., Burles, M., Holtslander, L., & Peacock, S. (2020). Influences of the culture of science on nursing knowledge development: Using conceptual frameworks as nursing philosophy in critical care nursing. Nursing Philosophy, 1-11.

Meehan, T. C., Timmins, F., & Burke, J. (2018). Fundamental care guided by the Careful Nursing Philosophy and Professional Practice Model. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 27(11-12), 2260-2273. Web.

Tanaka, K., Hasegawa, M., Nagayama, Y., & Oe, M. (2018). Nursing Philosophy of community mental health nurses in Japan: A qualitative, descriptive study. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(2), 765-773. Web.