Core Concepts in Nursing

Written by lynn rademacher
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Core Concepts in Nursing
The profession of nursing is based around four core concepts. (nurse chris image by John Keith from

Nursing is a career that requires compassion and caring for those who are sick or wounded. The qualities needed to be a nurse are taught in school and focus around four core concepts. These concepts are the foundation that nurses are supposed to stand on while practicing their chosen career. Each of the four main concepts is broken down to smaller sections that explain the main concept further and aid in a deeper understanding.


The first of the four concepts of nursing is the person. It is always important when caring for someone to remember that they are a person first and need to be treated with respect. This concept also addresses the importance of caring for the family of the patient as well. The nursing concept of the person recognises the unique ability of people to grow, adapt, and change through developmental states. Family has the ability to influence the health and the decision an individual makes and therefore must be included in the treatment of the patient.


The environment core concept addresses the effects that different aspects of the surrounding environment can have. Whether the influence is an internal factor or an external one, each can have a significant impact. Physical, psychological, spiritual, and cultural elements are included in the environment core concept. Social elements such as political and economic effects are social aspects that are external elements included in the environment concept.


Social norms help to determine what is considered healthy, especially in cases involving mental and social well-being. Although physical health is less subject to social norms, it is influenced by the perception of what society thinks health looks like. The core concept of health addresses the influences that society has on an individual's health or perception of health.


Nursing is caring for an individual according to a set standard that promotes quality health in the patient. Nurses must make decisions in order to provide a patient with effective quality care within a specific time frame. The core concepts of nursing need to be tailored to the needs of each individual. Nursing should be caring, sensitive to diversity, and accountable.


The four concepts of nursing are applied in the everyday practice of nursing by those in the profession. A nurse who can balance the four concepts and meet the needs of their patients in each area is looked upon as the ultimate example of what a nurse should be and what others in the industry should strive for. The four concepts of nursing are not always easy to implement but are designed to provide structure and guidance to the nursing profession.

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