Bonnie Engel

Date of Award


Document Type

Independent Study

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Understanding the spiritual dimension of human experience is paramount to nursing, because nursing is a holistic, practice-based discipline interested in the art of human concerns. In the past two decades, increased attention has centered on the relationship between health and spirituality (Harrison, 1993). Balance of the mind, body and soul are necessary for the maintenance of health (Brush, Daly, 2000). The purpose of this project is to examine via a needs assessment, the barriers that prevent the provision of a nurse's spiritual caregiving and based on these findings, implement a teaching project to reduce the barriers. Humans are spiritual beings. The spirit which is the core of human existence is fundamental to all living beings. Betty Nueman's Health Care Systems Model served as a framework for this project. One hundred and eleven nurses completed a twenty-nine question needs assessment survey on spiritual caregiving. The tools of measurement embedded within the survey were elements of the Spiritual Care Perspectives Survey (SCPS) and the Duke University Religion Index (DUREL). The findings were compiled and demonstrated that nurses desire education on spiritual caregiving and education on strategies to overcome the barriers of giving that care. An educational presentation, regarding spiritual caregiving and the bauiers to giving that care, was created. A presentation was given to thirty four nurses during the two educational sessions that were offered. Of the thirty-four nurses, approximately 73-85% (n= 25 to 28) consistently responded that the objectives of the presentation were met at a very high level. Hopefully the learning process translates into the goal of better patient outcomes, through holistic care