• culture;
  • education;
  • nursing;
  • nursing management;
  • spiritual care


This paper provides an overview of 80 papers on research into spiritual care in nursing between 2006 and 2010, to enable nurses and nurse managers to make use of evidence available to them to improve quality of care and implement best practice.


Research into spiritual care has grown rapidly since a review of the field in 2006.


The CINAHL database was used to search for ‘spirituality’ OR ‘spiritual care’ AND ‘nursing, looking for original research papers involving health-care practitioners.

Key issues

Research is discussed in the following themes: nursing education; care of health-care practitioners, including nurses; descriptive and correlational research; assessment tools used in research; palliative care and oncology; culture and spiritual care research. Future research should take into account the risks of research that does not involve patients and the need for research that is translatable into contexts other than the setting under study.

Implications for nursing management

Spiritual care research has implications for staff training and education, staff motivation and health, organisational culture, best practice, quality of care and, most importantly, for the health of patients. Nurse managers, and indeed all involved in management of nursing, should use this growing body of evidence to inform their spiritual care training, planning and delivery.