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  1. Cavendish, Roberta PhD, RN, CPN
  2. Konecny, Lynda MSN, RN
  3. Luise, Barbara Kraynyak EdD, RN
  4. Lanza, Melissa BS, RN


Prayer can be empowering for performance enhancement. Researchers drew conclusions from a larger study that employed triangulation of research methods and a random sample of 1000 nurses to describe spiritual perspectives, interventions, and attitudes of nurses in the United States. This article describes the nurses' prayerful activities.


The new millennium will undoubtedly be historically significant for the unprecedented challenges facing nursing in the United States. Society's globalization ushered in an era of uncertainty with the spread of diseases new to this hemisphere, biological threats, and economic constraints. Although nursing is perceived as the constant that holds the health care system together, the cohesiveness of that grip is tenuous. Nursing shortage and less than satisfying work conditions threaten the profession and the quality of nursing care nationally. In addition, literature suggests that nurses have a weak support system. 1 Yet, vigilant nurses return to the bedside every day. Their passion for nursing remains strong, as is their desire to provide holistic care. 2 Use of prayer may be what makes commitment to the profession and care standards possible for a number of nurses. This spiritual practice may not be unique to nursing, because at least 90% of the United States' population engages in prayerful activities. 3,4 Individuals advocating such preferences perceive that through prayer, their relationship with a higher power enhances their actions to serve others. 5 This article reports study findings on the use of prayer for performance enhancement by nurses in the United States. Our conclusions are drawn from a larger study to describe the spiritual interventions, practices, and attitudes of nurses in the United States.