• Spirituality;
  • nurse practitioners;
  • primary care;
  • stress and coping;
  • qualitative research


Purpose: The purpose of this research was to develop a conceptual nursing model for the implementation of spiritual care in adult primary care by nurse practitioners (NPs), with an emphasis on older adults.

Data sources: The study was a descriptive, qualitative design incorporating a grounded theory and phenomenological approach. Purposive sampling was used to recruit participants to obtain a broad perspective of the lived experience of spirituality in primary care. Fourteen interviews were conducted with older adults, family NPs, community spiritual leaders/educators, and nuns. Data were analyzed using a constant comparative approach to identify themes of spiritual care.

Conclusions: The results demonstrated that as the NP–patient relationship develops, the opportunity is often present for the NP to explore the adult's spiritual system. The NP and adult may develop an interspiritual relationship with the potential to use the adult's spirituality as a support resource.

Implications for practice: The nursing model reflects a spiritual-relational view. As the NP and older adult grow in relationship, they can grow into knowledge and use of spirit. The NP can use the adult's spirituality as a resource for helping the adult cope with ongoing and emerging problems. The model provides spiritual care guidance for NPs through evidence-based concepts.