Journal of Nursing Education

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Major Articles 

Spiritual Development of Nursing Students: Developing Competence to Provide Spiritual Care to Patients at the End of Life

Denise L. Mitchell, MN, APRN; Marsha J. Bennett, DNS, APRN, ACRN; Linda Manfrin-Ledet, DNS, APRN, BC

  • Journal of Nursing Education. 2006;45(9)
  • Posted September 1, 2006

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Nurses spend more time with their patients than do other health care workers. Therefore, the spiritual needs of patients must be recognized as a domain of nursing care. Holism cannot exist without consideration of the spiritual aspects that create individuality and give meaning to people’s lives. The purpose of this article is to provide nursing faculty with tools that may be used to develop spiritually knowledgeable nursing students who can overcome barriers to providing spiritual care to end-of-life patients. Our students were required to complete care maps to ensure they are prepared for patient care at the end of life. In this article, we present tools that faculty and students may use to complete the spiritual concept in care mapping. The literature on spirituality is reviewed, use of care mapping in nursing curricula is described, and our teaching approach to develop nursing students who are skilled at providing spiritual care is explained. Three case studies and care maps created by former students are also presented to demonstrate examples of spiritual competence.

AUTHORS

Received: January 14, 2004

Accepted: April 1, 2005

Ms. Mitchell is Assistant Professor and Dr. Manfrin-Ledet is Associate Professor, Nicholls State University, Department of Nursing, Thibodaux, and Dr. Bennett is Associate Professor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Address correspondence to Denise L. Mitchell, MN, APRN, Assistant Professor, Nicholls State University, Department of Nursing, PO Box 2143, Thibodaux, LA 70310; e-mail: denise.mitchell@nicholls.edu.

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Nurses spend more time with their patients than do other health care workers. Therefore, the spiritual needs of patients must be recognized as a domain of nursing care. Holism cannot exist without consideration of the spiritual aspects that create individuality and give meaning to people’s lives. The purpose of this article is to provide nursing faculty with tools that may be used to develop spiritually knowledgeable nursing students who can overcome barriers to providing spiritual care to end-of-life patients. Our students were required to complete care maps to ensure they are prepared for patient care at the end of life. In this article, we present tools that faculty and students may use to complete the spiritual concept in care mapping. The literature on spirituality is reviewed, use of care mapping in nursing curricula is described, and our teaching approach to develop nursing students who are skilled at providing spiritual care is explained. Three case studies and care maps created by former students are also presented to demonstrate examples of spiritual competence.

AUTHORS

Received: January 14, 2004

Accepted: April 1, 2005

Ms. Mitchell is Assistant Professor and Dr. Manfrin-Ledet is Associate Professor, Nicholls State University, Department of Nursing, Thibodaux, and Dr. Bennett is Associate Professor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Address correspondence to Denise L. Mitchell, MN, APRN, Assistant Professor, Nicholls State University, Department of Nursing, PO Box 2143, Thibodaux, LA 70310; e-mail: denise.mitchell@nicholls.edu.

ABSTRACT

Nurses spend more time with their patients than do other health care workers. Therefore, the spiritual needs of patients must be recognized as a domain of nursing care. Holism cannot exist without consideration of the spiritual aspects that create individuality and give meaning to people’s lives. The purpose of this article is to provide nursing faculty with tools that may be used to develop spiritually knowledgeable nursing students who can overcome barriers to providing spiritual care to end-of-life patients. Our students were required to complete care maps to ensure they are prepared for patient care at the end of life. In this article, we present tools that faculty and students may use to complete the spiritual concept in care mapping. The literature on spirituality is reviewed, use of care mapping in nursing curricula is described, and our teaching approach to develop nursing students who are skilled at providing spiritual care is explained. Three case studies and care maps created by former students are also presented to demonstrate examples of spiritual competence.

AUTHORS

Received: January 14, 2004

Accepted: April 1, 2005

Ms. Mitchell is Assistant Professor and Dr. Manfrin-Ledet is Associate Professor, Nicholls State University, Department of Nursing, Thibodaux, and Dr. Bennett is Associate Professor, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Address correspondence to Denise L. Mitchell, MN, APRN, Assistant Professor, Nicholls State University, Department of Nursing, PO Box 2143, Thibodaux, LA 70310; e-mail: denise.mitchell@nicholls.edu.

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