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What Is Caring in Nursing?: Sorting Out Humanistic and Christian Perspectives

Newbanks, R., Shirlene; Rieg, Linda, S.; Schaefer, Beverly

doi: 10.1097/CNJ.0000000000000441
Feature: practice/education

ABSTRACT: Historically, some propose that organized nursing was founded on biblical principles and the caring behaviors and characteristics of Christ, and that caring originates with God. More recently, perceptions of caring have shifted to a humanistic, postmodern worldview, where the source of caring is within the person. This integrative literature review synthesized caring literature from humanistic, postmodern, and biblical, theological worldviews. Findings reveal that 95% of research and 85% of nonresearch publications were written from the humanistic perspective. The results lay a foundation for an alternative middle range theory on caring from a biblical worldview for nurses holding Christian beliefs.

R. Shirlene Newbanks, DNP, RN, is the assistant dean of the Masters in Administration and Education Programs in the School of Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), Marion, Indiana. She is active on the Caring from a Christian Worldview subcommittee of the International Institute of Christian Nursing (IICN) of Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI).

Linda S. Rieg, PhD, RN, has taught nursing in several nursing programs and is a professor in the School of Nursing graduate program at IWU. She has served as Director of the IICN of NCFI, and is active on the Caring from a Christian Worldview subcommittee of the Institute.

Beverly Schaefer, EdD, RN, is the assistant dean of the Post-Licensure Division of Nursing at IWU.

Accepted by peer-review 1/16/2017.

Published Ahead of Print on 9/29/2017.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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