Wilfred McSherry and Dr Linda Ross

in Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571390
Published online August 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199665037 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbook in Public Health


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  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Palliative Medicine


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This chapter offers a brief synopsis of the nursing profession’s involvement in the spiritual dimension of care. It is by no means a definitive account of all the pioneering research and scholarly activity that has been undertaken by nurses internationally, over several decades and indeed since its historical inception and evolution in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The chapter highlights that the spiritual dimension of care is perceived by the nursing profession to be a legitimate and fundamental aspect of nursing practice. The spiritual dimension is recognized as one of the core founding principles of nursing that is enshrined in many codes of ethics and practice. The research evidence demonstrates that spirituality and spiritual care are considered by nurses to be intricately linked to the quality of nursing care and in maintaining the general health and wellbeing of patients. The chapter affirms that the nursing profession’s liaison with the spiritual dimension is not some attempt at professionalization, or some fleeting interest, but a sustained and sincere attempt to ensure that the spiritual aspects of holistic care are understood, realized and integrated within nursing practice. This will ensure that spiritual care is available for all individuals who require support with this dimension of their lives.

Chapter.  6405 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Palliative Medicine

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