Archive | February, 2012

Christian and Secular Views of Nursing Meta-paradigms

10 Feb

Let’s begin with what is a meta-paradigm?  It is a model that explains how science, philosophy, and theories are linked together, and how they are applied to a discipline, such as nursing (Current Nursing, 2011). The nursing meta-paradigms are nurse, person, environment, and health.  The definitions of the meta-paradigms are given below:

Nurse: the actions and characteristics of the person providing care.

Person: the individual/patient, family, or group/community.

Environment: all of the external or internal conditions, circumstances, and influences affecting the individual.

Health: the degree of wellness or illness experienced by the person/patient. (Current Nursing, 2011)

A Christian nurse is expected to be confident in their work, care for their patient’s, and be active in advocating for their patient’s.  Christian nurses also held responsible to be involved within their practice and organization to promote the development of the nursing profession as a whole (Doornbos, 2005, p. 50-51).  These views do not differ from the secular views of nursing and are basic standards of nursing care.  A difference between views could be based off how nurses view their job, whether it is just a job or a service provided.  According to Doornbos (2005), nurses who deal with “less pleasant aspects of embodiment and sickness are not, from a Christian perspective, inherently demeaning or lower in status.  In fact, Jesus specifically names caring for basic bodily needs as the service that is proper to those who would be his followers” (p. 51).  Other non-Christian’s may not believe that caring for other individuals at this level is a service towards a superior-being, but instead just a way to earn a living to take care of oneself and family.

The person meta-paradigm differs between the secular and Christian views as well.  Christians are bearers towards the image of God (Doornbos, 2005, p. 59).  Doornbos (2005) goes onto explain that “in discipline, life becomes a truly human life, lived in service of God through attending to one’s neighbor” (p. 59).  Christians are viewed as subjects living their life for God since He created them to do so.  The secular view differs by how non-Christians live their life for themselves. Believer Central (2008) explains that secular individuals live to increase self-worth and their position in the world (para 2).

Defined by Doornbos (2005), “health in the fullest sense is the complete physical, mental, and spiritual flourishing that allows us to fulfill our created purpose” (p. 70).  The purpose of Christian life of course is based off the expectations of the Creator.  Christians also view the environment as a creation of God.  These to thoughts are interlaced together to aide the Christian nurse to fulfill their requirement.  To remain health, individuals need to maintain the proper environment to do so.    Many times, people with secular views believe in putting their needs ahead of others, which destroys the environment as a whole.



Believer Central (2008). Christian vs. Secular World View. Retrieved from

Current Nursing. (2012). Nursing Theories: An overview. Retrieved from

Doornbos, M. M., Groenhout, R. E., & Hotz, K. G. (2005). Transforming care a christian vision of nursing practice. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.