Nursing, Nightingale  and Beyond:
Voices, Dialogues and  Talks of the Future

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Fatima Anquillano Carsola, PhD, RM, RN
Erlinda Castro-Palaganas, PhD, RN


Purpose: This research explored the voices of nurses in contemporary times and unraveled nurses’ situations for the purpose of generating a substantive theory to guide and refine nursing practice.

Method: The grounded theory methodology of qualitative research was utilized patterned mainly in the works of Glaser and Strauss. Criterion sampling was used in the selection of 31 participants and the basis for selection was employment in the hospital, academe, and community and being part of different levels of management (nurses from top, middle, first, and staff levels). Theoretical sampling also informed the final list of study informants and was conducted by snowballing that consisted of 10 participants. The data gathering procedures included the combination of interviews, observations, and document and literature analysis.

Findings: The study revealed three major themes: (1) nursing as a profession, (2) Nightingale in the 21st century: life of a nurse in today’s context, and (3) the challenges and opportunities to quality of nursing care.

Conclusion: Nursing is dynamic, complex, diverse, expanding and highly contextualized. Nursing is a field that grows with time and nurses are adaptive to the widening demands of their profession. The goal of nursing remains a Nightingale’s pledge and an endeavor amidst nurses’ constant battle between motivations and challenges. The Integrated Systems Approach to Nursing Care model was developed to be used as a framework for sound decision-making in nursing practice. Nursing, nightingale and beyond is a picture of struggles, success, and potential solutions to the predicaments surrounding the nursing profession.

Clinical Relevance: The study has potential to help health managers and policy implementers in providing assistance to nurses in enhancing their knowledge and skills, increasing their emotional and psychological resilience and in revitalizing their commitment to the nursing profession. It may also aid in the reconsideration of institutional policies and set-ups toward collaborative and enabling work environment. In addition, it may serve as a guide in creating proactive health governance, in facilitating nurses’ work motivation and retention through the due implementation of nursing law and other statures for the welfare of health workers, in providing additional plantilla position for nurses in the country, and in increasing funding for health programs to create more learning and practice environment for nurses. Lastly, the utilization of the theory can be used in developing a more responsive nursing practice.

Keywords: Concept of nursing, nurses today, relationship of nurses, quality of nursing care, nursing career advancement, nurses’ compensation, benefits and incentives, nurses’ safety measures for occupational hazards, nursing job satisfaction, nurses’ challenges and motivation.

About the Authors

Fatima Anquillano-Carsola, PhD, RN, RM earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Univeristy of Northern Philippines-Vigan City in 2007. Obtained her Master of Arts in Nursing, major in Maternal and Child Health Nursing from the same University in 2010 and finished her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing at Saint Louis University-Baguio in 2015. She is currently an Associate Professor and the Principal of Midwifery at Union Christan College-La Union. She is also a national lecturer for Midwifery and Nursing Licensure Exams.

Erlinda Castro-Palaganas, PhD, RN, is a Professor of Management of the University of the Philippines Baguio. She is the founding president of the Philippine Nursing Research Society Inc. and has served the Philippines Nurses Association at the local, regional and national levels in various capacities. She is the Chair of the Capacity Building Committee of the Cordillera Region Health Research and Development Consortium; Vice-President (External) of the Philippine Association of Medical Journal Editors and a member of the Asia Pacific Association of Medical Editors.