Professional, Ethical, and Legal Implications for Spiritual Care in Nursing


  • Kathy B. Wright

    Corresponding author
    1. Kathy B. Wright, RN, MS, CGRN, CS, Delta Theta, is at the University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing, Arlington, Texas, and is a Doctoral Student at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, Austin, Texas.
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  • The author thanks Diane Kjervik, RN, JD, FAAN, Professor and Associate Dean for Outreach and Practice at the University of North Carolina School of Nursing for her encouragement to write and submit this work.

Ms. Wright, 2402 McKensie Ln., Grand Prairie, TX 75052.


Purpose: To highlight nurses' professional and ethical responsibility to consistently provide spiritual care. The legal issue of nurse-client privilege in relation to spiritual care is also discussed. Spiritual care is consistent with the model of holistic care. Yet spiritual care often remains a neglected focus of current nursing practice.

Conclusions: Spirituality, as an important aspect of wellness, is indispensable in nursing care. Nurses are obligated to take an active role in meeting the spiritual needs of patients.