Philosophical awareness is not only relevant to nurse education but “vital,” according to researchers from the University of Victoria in Canada.

Although philosophy has become devalued as a subject for frontline nurses to study, lead author Anne Bruce, RN, Ph.D., and fellow researchers push for greater emphasis on philosophy in nurse education in their paper, “Understanding Philosophy in a Nurse’s World: What, Where and Why?”

The researchers assert that nurses are already employing philosophical skills and thinking, whether they are aware of it or not. For best results, they suggest nurses and nurse educators utilize philosophy in three different ways: content, method and way of life. 

“Through using a framework of philosophy as content, method, and a way of life, we propose nurses may better understand the role, function, and language of thinking philosophically, and see its presence already threaded throughout a nurses’ world,” they wrote.

Such strategies would help nurses to build morality and ethics, self-awareness and critical thinking while exploring non-scientific questions related to nursing practice, they assert. 

The paper appeared in Nursing and Health