Challenging questions and ethical obligations: the ethics of everyday practice > 21 January 2015

Wendy Wigley


I would like to contribute a paper/presentation for discussion based upon the findings of my doctoral study “pre-registration nursing students’ understanding and awareness of their spirituality from their experiences in practice

Spirituality is a phenomenon integral to health and wellbeing and a fundamental element of nursing care. Nonetheless, empirical evidence suggests that spirituality is a frequently ignored aspect of care provision. While there is evidence that examines the relevance of providing spiritual care to service users, minimal research has been undertaken that examines the spiritual needs of pre-registration nursing students.

The study used a Glaserian grounded theory design to explore and explain pre-registration nursing students’ personal understanding of their own spirituality and the relationship between experiences in clinical practice and spiritual awareness. Participants comprised seven pre-registration nursing students undertaking a three-year educational programme. Data was collected between 2008 and 2013 through two focus groups, twelve one-to-one interviews and theoretical sampling of a variety of literature and media, including artefacts created by the participants

The study highlights challenges associated with spiritual awareness. If students’ spiritual needs and awareness are not adequately nurtured and supported there are implications linked to the aspiration of nursing to recapture the 6Cs (DH 2012). Recommendations from this study include the identification of role models in clinical practice and the implementation of a model of pastoral care for tutors supporting pre-registration nursing students.



(to be confirmed)


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