Nursing and Daoism: Wading in the river of practice

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The study of philosophy has shaped and continues to shape thinking in many disciplines. One may not initially associate philosophy with a grounding idea in the nursing profession; however, its ideas fit the contour of the discipline and foster critical thinking. The philosophical nurse examines his or her practice in depth to understand human processes and deepen thinking through the teachings of philosophy. The following discussion is an overview of Daoism (the "Way") and its main ideas; these ideas will then be applied to nursing practice and human response to illness. The analogy of a flowing river helps to enrich and enlighten our understanding of Daoist teachings. The practitioner cannot fight the flow of a river, just as the practitioner cannot prevent illness from occurring in one's existence. We can only supply the interventions to encourage equilibrium and maintain harmony. There will be obstacles; however, the practitioner who realizes that these obstacles are part of the "Way" will find understanding and a deeper knowledge base in caring for patients.

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Creative Nursing

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