Oral Presentation The 26th International Nursing Philosophy Conference 2023

The Dear Diary Project, Philosophy in Action, Shining a light on 210 Nurses.  (#21)

Karen Tuqiri 1
  1. South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Randwick, NSW, Australia

Philosophy helps nurses to think more critically and reflect on how their own values influence their practice and way of being.  A better understanding of the importance of philosophy in the nurses ‘world’ is not only relevant but vital to our discipline and professional practice 1  

In 2020 to celebrate the life and work of Florence Nightingale, in keeping with her 200-year anniversary by shining a light on 200 nurses working in our organisation. 

This presentation shares the analysis and creative expression of the emergent themes. Reflection helps to produce a deeper sense of learning and “a new appreciation of the knowledge and skills of clinical practice”2


To capture accounts of a time when nurses felt they made a meaningful difference to patient care. These were then compared to Nightingale’s historical writings3, demonstrating the social impact of nursing across generations.  


A narrative inquiry design using diary entries of over 200 nurses were collected and analysed. A Visual Artist then portrayed the final themes as a series of artworks.


Five overarching themes emerged: (1) Compassionate practice; (2) Person-centred care; (3) Human connection; (4) Patient safety; and (5) Teamwork and collaborative practice.  

This initiative provided a rich opportunity to reflect on authentic values that nurses hold “Today I learned that compassion is ingrained in me-in these quiet and private moments it comes so naturally and authentically, purely for the patient, no matter who they are"



The findings demonstrated the importance of taking a philosophical view of nursing, enabling reflection and sharing of experiences where they felt they made a difference as a nurse, capturing everyday ‘person centered moments’ illuminating ‘philosophy in action’ by shining a light on the work of everyday nursing practice. This project embodies nursing philosophy in action and highlights the provision of person-centred care.    

  1. 1. Bruce, A, Rietze, L, Lim, A. (2014) Understanding Philosophy in a Nurses World: What, Where and Why. Nursing and Health 2(3): 65-71, 2014
  2. 2. Florence Nightingale (1959) Notes on Nursing, What it is and What it is not, London: Harrison.
  3. 3. Levett-Jones, Tracy Lynn. Facilitating reflective practice and self-assessment of competence through the use of narratives. Nurse Education in Practice; Kidlington (Mar 2007): Vol. 7, Iss. 2, 112-9. DOI:10.1016/j.nepr.2006.10.002