The purpose of this study was to examine nurses’ views of spirituality and spiritual care in the Republic of Ireland. While information exists internationally regarding nurses’ attitudes to spirituality and spiritual care, there is little information available about nurses’ views in the Republic of Ireland. As ‘religious heritage’ can shape and influence beliefs about spirituality, it is of interest to know the views of nurses working in a healthcare context that increasingly reflects a multi-faith society but yet has a strong Christian background.
A self-reporting survey was used to collect data based on the Nurses’ Perception of Spiritual Care Inventory (SSCRS). Nurses in this study had positive views about their role in the provision of spiritual care and did not appear to equate religion with spirituality. Although the majority reported being able to provide responsive spiritual care it is of concern that much of this was based upon the nurse’s own personal experience. As nurses are actively involved in providing for patients’ spiritual needs, without specific training in most cases, education in this area is urgently required.
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