CPQ Medicine (2020) 10:5
Conceptual Paper

The Human Context: Why Nursing is Engendered in Caring Practice

Rica Rose May Rubio, A.

Western Mindanao State University, Philippines

*Correspondence to: Dr. Rica Rose May Rubio, A. Western Mindanao State University, Philippines.

Copyright © 2020 Dr. Rica Rose May Rubio, A. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Received: 02 November 2020
Published: 06 November 2020

Keywords: Caring Practice; Nursing; Human Context

We cannot define the term ‘nursing’ without mentioning the word ‘caring’, for caring and nursing have always been thought of synonymously. That, the notion of ‘caring’ has been explored throughout the history of nursing [1]. However, to espouse that the philosophy of nursing was developed from caring practice would entail us to look at the history of nursing.

Inevitably, we go back to Florence Nightingale who is considered as a pioneer of nursing. She is credited for her enormous contribution in the establishment of a public health care system and the training programs for nurses which gave basis to the nursing standards that ultimately, made nursing a profession today [2,3]. Her concern and compassion for others were evident in her actions, which is the very definition of caring as showing of concern for others or having compassion for others. Watson (1998) [4] acknowledged that although Nightingale did not talk in terms of transpersonal human caring, her life’s work and writings reflect both the timelessness and manifestation of such a concept and philosophy for holistic nursing.

Nightingale’s assertion of placing the person or human being in the best possible condition for nature to act upon, served as a stepping stone for the theoretical development of nursing. The person (patient), his integrity, his wholeness, and his connectedness to other person which is at the center of Nightingale’s model of nursing, is central and basic to nursing theories (Parker, 2005) [5] in the same way it is central and basic to the caring theories of Jean Watson, Madeleine Leininger, Simone Roach, and many others. Watson (2008) [6] suggested that it is the human-to-human connection that brings out the person’s ability, or the nurse’s ability for that matter, of being compassionate and caring to others.

Therefore, the person or human context, to include the human-to-human engagement, is one area in the philosophy of nursing that makes nursing grounded in the caring practice.


  1. Watson Jean (2009). Caring as the essence and science of nursing and health care. O Mundo da Saude Sao Paulo, 33(2), 143-149.
  2. Cohen Bernard (1984). Florence Nightingale. Scientific American, 250(3), 128-137.
  3. McDonald Lynn (2001). Florence Nightingale and the early origins of evidenced-based nursing. EBN Notebook, 4, 68-69.
  4. Watson, Jean (1998). Reflections Florence Nightingale and the enduring legacy of transpersonal human caring. Journal of Holistic Nursing, 16(2), 292-294.
  5. Boykin, A. & Schoenhofer, S. (2013). Nursing as caring: A model for transforming practice. The Project Gutenberg Ebook of Nursing as Caring.
  6. Watson, Jean (2008). Nursing: The philosophy and science of caring (revised edition). Caring in Nursing Classics: An Essential Resource.

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