A range of contemporary political and professional literature endorse the principle of compassion in nursing as a core and underpinning philosophy fundamental to the profession. However, despite pledges to ensure that compassion lies at the heart of nursing, the concept has not been clearly defined. It is evident that uncovering the true meaning is complex and challenging owing to its subjective nature. In light of this, several implications must be considered. Effective student nurse recruitment is essential to ensure that the most appropriate individuals are selected. Contemporary marketing campaigns must be implemented, and recruitment strategies developed, which consider specific values and attitudes. Service user involvement in recruitment and selection, curriculum planning and learning and teaching strategies, and post-qualification education, can enhance nurses' understanding of the patient perspective and make headway in embedding compassion as a core nursing value. Additionally, effective role modelling in practice which demonstrates high-quality compassionate nursing care is essential. Nurses must be adequately supported in the clinical environment to facilitate compassionate behaviours and clinical leadership at all levels must uphold political and professional pledges to achieve this. Consideration of these implications for practice is essential to ensure that nurses are able to respond to patients with humanity and kindness, and deliver high-quality, compassionate care to all.
|British Journal of Nursing
|Published - Feb 2012