The concept of hope in nursing


There's a specialist from your university waiting to help you with that essay.
Tell us what you need to have done now!

order now

The aim of this assignment is to explore the concept of hope in context to nursing practice. Various literature supports will be also undertaken for the concept in this piece of work. Hope exits in every aspect of life and is significant component in nursing. According to Farran et al. (1992) hope is ‘an expectation about attaining some desired goal in the future, a necessary condition for action, a subjective state that can influence realities to come, and a knowledge that as human beings we can somehow manage our internal and external realities’. So hope is the necessity for the attainment of the required tasks.


There are numerous definitions of different authors for the concept of hope. They viewed this concept in diverse forms. Hope comes from the Latin root speare means ‘to hope’. Hope is faith, want, wish which needs to be fulfilled. Stotland (1969) defines hope as ‘an expectation greater than zero of achieving a goal’.The meaning of this concept is that when the person fails in attaining goals of life and comes at nil of life, at that time a ray of hope arouse keenness in the person as the possibilities of overcoming the situation still alives.So this is showing that when there is no way there is a way i.e. hope .According to Farran et al. (1992)’Hope in its mature form becomes a sense of certainty about the coherent nature of human life and an acceptance of one’s lifestyle as worthwhile’. Nurses must endeavor to pursue trusting relationships with those for whom they care and their Central to hope and others is the establishment of a trusting relationship significant others, and also with the wider community. Society expects and deserves that they can place their trust in nursing professionals. Importantly, nursing research of a high quality needs to be conducted, and where appropriate, be focused on client outcomes and not just our aims. Morse and Doberneck(1995) suggested that ‘hope is a response to a threat that results in the setting of a desired goal; the awareness of the cost of not achieving the goal; the planning to make the goal a reality; the assessment selection, and use of all internal and external resources and supports that will assist in achieving the goal; and the re evaluation and revision of the plan while enduring, working and striving to reach the desired goal’.It means in the circumstance of health the threat of illness/injury created hope for recovery and recognition of actions that were required to achieve the goals. A similar cognitive process occurred in young healthy people. Bunston et al. (1995) simply define hope as ‘an essential ingredient that supplies the incentive to rise in the morning and look forward to the new day regardless of the circumstances, the physical difficulties, or the emotional pain’. Hope is same as the beginning of the new day with different conditions to achieve the desired goals. Hope is the positive belief of a person regarding his future in spite of different environmental and emotional situations. According to Synder et al. (1999) Individuals who are hopeful do better at problem-solving, at managing challenging situations, and even in coping with illness and disability. It means nurses should have advanced skills of managing the situations as they are the individuals who encourage the ray of hope in the persons who are in need of it. Patients having hopeful attitude adapt the situations more easily as compare to others and easily follow the prescriptions given by the care givers and overcome the barriers which comes across their health status.Synder (1995) defined hope as ‘the cognitive energy and pathway for goals’. It means for achieving the goals hope acts as a way for it. The power of mental processes as memory, thought, in experiences,positiveness helps in attaining the goal of life. Hope is a goal oriented which give direction to the despair patients. It is an affective and cognitive process. According to Herth(1990) hope as ‘ inner power directed toward a new awareness and enrichment of ‘being’ rather than rational expectations’. Hope act as an expectation for the future to attain the realistic goals and to be in the present. Hope is dynamic in nature, enables the individual to augment over existing problems and focus on positive future orientated events.


The concept of hope has greater contribution in clinical practices .Nurses have a significant role in inspiring hope in people who are vulnerable and ill. Establishing a good relationship between nurse and patient is made through an effective communication which helps in maintaining hope. Wilkinson (1996) stated that ‘acknowledging that cure is no longer possible does not signify defeat, but demands a change in perspective- a shift from a terminal illness to living with a life threatening illness. Nurses can provide support to terminally ill patient through hope. While giving care nurses assume a primary role to instill hope in the patient. Nurse fulfills the emotional needs of the patients and explores optimism in the hopeless people. According to (Thompson, 1994; Lange, 1978; Hickey,1986;O’Connor,1996)Hope can be stimulated through the nurse being encouraging and using good communication, seeking relevant information about the situation, establishing a support system and helping the individual patient develop realistic goals. When nurse makes a care plan the intervention are based on the relevant information about the disease condition. According to Colette (2005) Nurse/patient interactions encompass wide-ranging attitudes and behavior in the interpersonal and clinical domains of nursing practice. It is the main way of promoting quality in nursing care. The effectiveness of hope depends on the interaction of the nurse with the patient .George and Howell (1996) founded that the lived experience of re-hospitalization was one that provided clients and caregivers with a renewal of hope that their lives would change for the better. During hospitalization the patients attain stability and learn how to function more effectively .Hope helps in early recovery of patient from illness. According to Raleigh et al. (1992) hope has been defined, throughout the lifespan, as a catalyst that assists individuals to cope successfully with life challenges and transitions in order to continue functioning during chronic illness and other significant losses. In critical condition its very challenging for the nurse to provide care to the patient but with expertise in skills caregiver can foster hope in a better way. Herth (1993) stated hope ‘as an inner power that facilitates the transcendence of the present situation and enables a reality-based expectation of a brighter tomorrow for self and/or others’. Health care professionals need to provide care in the unique way to the individuals. Hope is an internal influence which makes the nurse to take some steps or to find new ways to give care to the patient in better way and for the set up of the effective care plan to get the desired goals.Herth and Cutcliffe (2002) stated that hope is a focus on achievements success and control were not so useful when associated with losses in old age. It is a difficult task for the nurses to generate a hope in the older persons as compared to young persons. So nurses have to give proper attention to the older adults to obtain valued outcomes. Jevne (2005) emphasized that a science of hope is necessary if health care providers are to use hope in an ethical and constructive manner. In nursing hope is very much necessary as the health care providers have to use the concept of hope in a productive way. As the concept of hope is essential for the nursing practice but there are some barriers in maintaining the hope. The possible barriers which may create hindrances while using the concept in practice setting are lack of communication skills, lack of knowledge, lack of confidence level, financial barriers, administrative barriers, and uncaring professional demeanors( Jackson et al.2000).Instead of these obstacles nurses needs to be efficient in instilling hope for the positive outcomes. Therefore, it very important for the health care professionals to address the issues to deliver quality of care to the patients.


To sum up, the concept of hope has been analyzed through its meaning, characteristics and its importance in nursing practices. So, it is revealed from the above analysis that hope has essential role in giving nursing care. Researchers have been discussed about the different aspects of hope regarding nursing practices. Knowing the concept, hope enhances and empowers nurses to maintain hope in patients. Hope brings positive thought in patient and makes them optimistic. Health care professionals foster hope in patient through daily interaction and during the activities. Therefore, it brings positive outcome in treatment and patient well being.