Chapter 30 - Nursing

Wilfred McSherry, Linda Ross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter presents an overview of the historical and contemporary development of spirituality and spiritual care within nursing. The chapter commences with a historical perspective of nursing care drawing attention to the medical and holistic models that have existed. This is followed by an analysis of the key arguments that provide a basis for spiritual care within nursing. This section reviews some of the primary drivers; political, professional and societal, resulting in nursing engaging with spiritual aspects of the person. It is acknowledged that the concepts and debates outlined in this chapter have a relevance to nursing globally. There is an increasing recognition of the importance that the spiritual part of an individual's life may make to health, wellbeing and recovery. A significant evidence base to support this is emerging, for example the pioneering work of Koenig et al.[1]. The importance of nurses addressing the spiritual dimension is also reflected in some of the healthcare guidance at world, European and national levels. These issues are discussed in more detail in Ross.[2].
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare
EditorsMark Cobb, Christina M Puchlaski, Bruce Rumbold
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2012


  • spirituality
  • spiritual care


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