The effects of spiritual care nusring education on nurses' comfort in the delivery of spiritual care

Carmen E Sterling-Fisher, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Spiritual care of patients has been an important part of nursing since Florence Nightingale's days, although the spiritual nature of nursing care is often overlooked in today's nursing community. According to Highfield (1992) and Lilley (1987), issues regarding the physical and psychosocial aspects of nursing care continue to predominate nursing literature despite the long standing documented value of spiritual aspects of nursing care (Burkhardt and Nagai-Jacobson, 1994; Robinson, 1994 and Ross, 1994), resulting in limited available learning opportunities related to spiritual care. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of an educational intervention concerning spiritual nursing care on spiritual care knowledge and comfort level in the delivery of spiritual care. Forty-six registered nurses were tested pre- and post-seminar in order to determine the effect of the educational intervention; Findings revealed high base knowledge and comfort level related to spiritual care. Despite this high level, knowledge increased significantly post-seminar (p.008). Comfort level was also increased (p =.057), but this increase was not significant. Anecdotal comments from seminar participants supported the findings and reflected interest and excitement about spirituality and nursing; This study provided evidence of interest in spiritual nursing care among registered nurses. Documentation of objective and subjective findings related to education and spiritual care nursing has the potential to impact nursing education and practice.