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competency, ethics, religion, spiritual care, spirituality



  1. Pesut, Barbara PhD, RN


Spiritual nursing care is increasingly being cited in the nursing literature as a fundamental ethical obligation. This obligation is based upon the argument that nurses provide holistic care, spirituality is a universal dimension of the person, and so nurses should care for the spiritual dimension. However, the literature on the spiritual dimension in nursing illustrates widely differing foundational assumptions about this important aspect of care. The philosophic categories of humanism, theism, and monism can be used to illustrate the different understandings of the spiritual dimension, and the implications of these understandings for the competence of the nurse and the nature of the nurse-patient interaction in the context of spiritual care.