Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Spirituality in nursing education: Preparing students to address spiritual needs
by Blesch, Pamela S., Ph.D., Capella University, 2013, 231; 3568614
Abstract (Summary)

Preparing nursing students to address spiritual needs of clients is a challenge for nursing education programs. There is minimal evidence in the literature exploring the spiritual needs of clients from the perspectives of nursing students and faculty. While licensed nurses can confirm the importance of meeting the physiological and psychosocial needs of the client, nursing professional practice standards demand nurses include acknowledging the client’s spirituality. As required by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), American Association of Credentialing Nursing (AACN), and the National Council State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), spiritual care is a requirement, not an option. By determining how nursing students are prepared to address the spiritual needs of the client in a large Midwestern baccalaureate nursing program, nursing faculty can identify effective methods of including spirituality in the nursing education curriculum. This research study used qualitative inquiry and focused on understanding experiences from nursing students and nurse educators. A grounded theory approach was utilized to assess faculty and student perceptions of preparation of senior baccalaureate nursing (BSN) students to address the spiritual needs of the clients. Two themes emerged from the faculty interviews: students need a clear definition of spirituality, and students are not prepared to address the spiritual needs of clients with a spiritual assessment tool. Three themes emerged from the student interviews: students cannot clearly define spirituality versus culture versus religion, they are not equipped to do a spiritual assessment, and there is a lack of role models by both nursing faculty and staff in the clinical setting demonstrating how to address the spiritual needs of clients. There are two sub-categories that support how to define spirituality and how to better equip students to address the spiritual needs of clients. Using a grounded theory approach, the outcomes of this study support a new theory to facilitate nurse inclusion of spirituality in the nursing curriculum.

This study provides support for integration in the nursing curriculum and inclusion of teaching strategies focusing on spirituality in the nursing curriculum. Findings from this study help minimize gaps in the literature by contributing new knowledge about spirituality in the nursing curriculum that previously had not been empirically identified.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bassett, Caroline
Commitee: Ihrke, Barbara, Reams, Paula
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 74/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Nursing, Health education
Keywords: Nursing curriculum, Nursing students, Spiritual needs
Publication Number: 3568614
ISBN: 978-1-303-23238-1
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