The Concept of Nursing as a Human Science

A tenacious thread in the nursing profession regards nursing "as a human science" (Pailkington, 2005, p. 98), which means that nursing places a high value on "health and life as humanely lived" (p 98). Humans are considered as mere things or objects in natural scientific disciplines, as contrasted to the most important species on Earth in human sciences. As such, Pilkington (2005) introduces intentionality, a theoretical feature that is particularly relevant to philosophical interpretations of "nursing as a human science" (p 99). What the concept of intentionality brings forth is an emphasis on nursing as an ethically conscious exercise that heightens healing results (p. 99). Particularly, nursing demands that the practitioners pause to evaluate their actions and thoughts in every-day life thereby prompting nursing as well as nurses to rise to the definitive apprehensions of human beings. In so doing, nurses become true instruments, embodied spirits of caring and healing (p 99). Also, for nursing to be a human science, nurses must identify themselves as scientists. The work of the nurses with regards to the provision of care to communities, families, and individuals might be seen from the perspective of science which is simultaneously human, applied (soft), and physical (hard) (p 100).

The Department of Nursing at Lehman College Philosophy and Human Science

The Department of Nursing at Lehman College is founded on the philosophical premise that underscores the concepts of health and environment, persons, nursing, and education (Department of Nursing - Lehman College, 2017). The nursing curriculum offered by the institution at both undergraduate and graduate capacities are built upon liberal arts as well as disciplines to create the rational criteria necessary for offering nursing care within the society, and for enhancing nursing as a profession (par 1). Kim & Kollack (2006, p. 11) refers to nursing as the “protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, illness and injury inhibition, mitigation of misery through the treatment and diagnosis of the response of individuals along with support in the support and care of populations, communities, families, and individuals.” Such is the philosophy of the Department of Nursing at Lehman College which involves the treatment and assessment of human reactions to the potential or actual or probable health requirements of individuals. Also, as the profession of nursing is composed of various specialties, roles, and fields, and their main objective is to improve the health and quality of life of families and patients from conception to death. Human science deals with people and their association with the world where they reside, and the lived experiences of their lives (Kim & Kollak, 2006). In principle, the philosophy of the institution attempts to address human needs and its relationship to nursing practice. Human science reveals that human needs shape the emergence of social and political policies (Kim & Kollak, 2006). Consequently, the political ideologies, cultural, and social forces shape the perceived needs of groups or individuals (p 10). These perceptions play an essential role in the conceptualization of human needs as it connects to the current nursing philosophy and practice offered in Lehman College, Department of Nursing.

Question Three: The Concept of Humanism in Nursing

The philosophies of caring and humanism have been the cornerstone of nursing throughout history, enhancing the fundamental character of nursing, explicitly, that nursing intrinsically is a moral practice (Létourneau, Cara & Goudreau, 2017). Nursing, perceived as a service to human beings, always has been directed by an ethical drive to act in favor of those who require nursing care. In the contemporary nursing, Florence Nightingale, a real humanist, vouches for her fight towards the dignity of the patients as well as decent care (Létourneau, Cara & Goudreau, 2017, p. 34). She had stood out as a true humanist worrier, initially during the Crimea War and following her later years when she worked to enhance the conditions at the medical facilities and nursing care. In Florence’s view, caring for sick people meant offering the most conducive environment to facilitate reparative techniques in patients along with assisting the patients to satisfy their functional needs in a personal way. From this perspective, several theorists have expanded on her ideas of what nursing entails, what good nursing is composed of, and how to act and think to offer the best care in a humanistic tradition (Létourneau, Cara & Goudreau, 2017). For example, Abdellah, Henderson, and Orem explicated further the understanding of nursing as complementary assistance toward fulfilling patients' basic needs when they lack the impetus to conduct necessary tasks themselves and in a manner, that upholds and restores their independence and self-care (p 34). Other theorists, such as Peplau, Travelbee, and Watson, have all developed the ideas about individualized care, specifically in relation to the interpersonal domain of nursing, while Leininger's concept of transcultural care has extended the vision of what nursing care is all about (p 35).

Reflection 1: On a Roadmap to Nursing

My fondest memories are of nursing my youngest cousin in the middle of the night, mid-summer, a book in one hand and bay in the other, listening to the crockets and night sounds, and at the same time worried about the status of the baby. Then my mindset shifted to people at home alone, often struggling, poor health (cognitive decline) one step away from the nursing homes. I now saw firsthand that holistic care is the nursing framework (Behrens & Langer, 2016). Yet, it had never crossed my mind that I would be interested in healthcare as a profession.

During my formative years, I was exposed to arts and social sciences growing up in a family full of management consultants and working from a young age at the anterior these activities. The older I grew, the more I was convinced that I will follow my family’s career paths. However, there was a complete turn of events when I was introduced to one of the nursing homes during my senior year in high school. I wanted to help the needy; I wanted to provide care to those who needed it most. I was definitely sure that I trailed a course in Nursing upon joining college. Again, my mindset conserving the extensive healthcare quality as well as the health of the population quality led to a paradigm shift of my thought process, and I considered taking a journey that could help the community in mitigating the unintended patient harm (Behrens & Langer, 2016). I am still an undergraduate student, but these thoughts keep crossing my mind. I want to do more; I always want to do more in providing quality health care.

Reflection Two

Title: Reflective Essay on The Movie Last Ship

Humanism is referred to as the predisposition to focus on human beings as well as their authority, achieves, power, and importance (Létourneau, Cara & Goudreau, 2017). Humanism can also be referred to as a worldview, philosophical discourse, a school of thought, that places humans as occupants of a special place on earth (Létourneau, Cara & Goudreau, 2017). This is the same view that the movie Last Ship covers; Upon the outbreak of a lethal virus that swept the entire nation, Tom Chandler, a marine captain, purposes to find the cure of the virus and save humanity (Lowry & Lowry, 2015).

In the movie, the lead doctor, Rachel Scott is also seen working rigorously, performing lab experiments to come up with the vaccine of the deadly virus (Lowry, 2015). To cement the position of human beings on the planet, based on the humanist view, the doctor tests the beta forms of the virus on birds. This is because, according to humanist, human lives are more important than that of other creatures, given that our lives are in danger. The movie invoked immense empathy within me, seeing as people were desperate for a cure, while at the same time, some villains who were clearly non-humanists were sabotaging the doctor’s (humanist) plans to help save lives.

Significance of Humanism in my Nursing Experience

I believe that medical care quality implies distinctive things to individuals based on how old they are, encounters in addition to objectives. Some may acknowledge healthcare quality is guaranteeing a secure, cost-effective available health care system. Other individuals may claim that healthcare quality basically implies that your physician and personnel can cater to your family. Also, there exist those of us who might state that the above descriptions best fit healthcare quality (Behrens & Langer, 2016). In my opinion healthcare quality involves equipping our nurses, physicians, nursing homes, hospitals, and other establishments with resources to go far beyond to maintain us as well as our family members while protecting against injury. It is about making certain the front-line staff members is educated to avoid harm by utilizing evidence-based resources and tools to track cardiac episodes, emissions, pressure ulcers, and also infections, and also and can utilize that information to create enhanced favorable results.


Behrens, J., & Langer, G. (2016). Evidence based nursing and caring. Verlag Hans Huber.

Department of Nursing - Lehman College. (2017). Retrieved 27 November 2017, from

Kim, H. S. P. R., & Kollak, I. P. R. (Eds.). (2006). Nursing theories : conceptual and philosophical foundations, second edition. Retrieved from

Létourneau, D., Cara, C., & Goudreau, J. (2017). Humanizing Nursing Care: An Analysis of Caring Theories Through the Lens of Humanism. International Journal for Human Caring, 21(1), 32-40.

Lowry, B. (2015). TV Review: ‘The Last Ship’. Variety. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from

Pilkington, F. B. (2005). The concept of intentionality in human science nursing theories. Nursing Science Quarterly, 18(2), 98-104.

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