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Every person matters: enabling spirituality education for nurses

Authors

  • Julian Stern BPhil, MA (Oxon), PhD, PGCE, LRAM,

  • Sarah James MA, RN, PGCE


Julian Stern
Dean of the Institute for Learning
The University of Hull
Cottingham Road
Hull HU6 7RX UK
Telephone: 01482 466134
E-mail: j.stern@hull.ac.uk

Abstract

Aims and objectives.  This paper aims to identify how the statutory requirements relating to spirituality in nurse education can be supported in preservice and in-service education, in the context of inter-professional working implied by every child matters (Department for Education and Skills (DfES) Every Child Matters: Change for Children. DfES, Nottingham DfES 2004a; Every Child Matters: Change for Children in Health Services. Department of Health, London 2004).

Background.  The basis for this paper is an exploration of the current requirements relating to spirituality in nursing and the consequent requirements for training and education clarified in part through a consideration of parallel policies on spirituality in school education. Inter-professional work, for example, across health, social care and education professions, has a long history in nursing and the changes brought about by the every child matters policy initiative have given such inter-professional work a considerable boost. That policy change has encouraged consideration, in this article, of some common issues arising in nursing and school education professions.

Method.  This paper consists of a critical review of current and in-coming statutory requirements related to spirituality, nursing and nurse education, and a synthetic review of definitions of and approaches to meeting spiritual needs.

Conclusion.  The emergent relational framework for considering spirituality in nurse education acknowledges the ambiguity of spirituality and treats that ambiguity as in some ways enabling rather than constraining.

Relevance to clinical practice.  It is not simply that nurse practice will be likely to change with respect to children. Every person will, in the terminology of the policy, ‘matter’: there is significant urgency to consideration of effective education and training provision.

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