There has been an increase of holistic care in nursing practice in Western culture. Whilst the concept of healing, has been facing changes and modifications over the passage of time, it mostly remains misunderstood. As far as healing is concerned, it is considered as a major tenet, the very essence of the nursing profession, since the founding of modern-day nursing by Florence Nightingale. One hundred years after the death of Nightingale, 2010 is being celebrated as The International Year of the Nurse through a “Nightingale Initiative for Global Health” (B. M. Dossey, 2010). While nurses focus on global health, a comprehension of healing is essential.
B. M. Dossey et al. (2005) talks about in depth, Nightingale's insights and vision in an interpretative biography on Nightingale, through discussions on her various accounts. Her writings describe healing from a holistic perspective to include a process of bringing together all aspects of oneself, body, mind, and spirit to achieve and maintain integration and balance. There are differences between nursing and medicine with respect to their functions. The function of nursing is healing, whereas the function of medicine is described as curing. The caring and healing process distinguished nursing from medicine during the Victorian era and continues to distinguish nursing from typical Western medicine today.
The term Spirituality which has been discussed throughout the concept analysis, is identified as a driving force in healing, which supports the interconnectedness, unifying all of life. When spirituality and healing are focused, it assists in understanding the wholeness of the human existence. Healing is described as the blending of nurses' inner and outer life, resulting in the expression of unconditional love and feelings of safety and harmony. The role of the nurse is outlined in Notes on Nursing to carefully consider both the internal and external environment and put the person in the best condition for nature to act upon him. Internal environment focuses on the inner self and self-care. External environment is the space where the person is; nurses' role includes creating and being part of the environment to facilitate healing. The attitude and emotions of the nurse are important and affect the healing process.
Even though, healing cannot be predicted, it provides a possible progression: the establishment of authentic presence with the patient, the development of trust and an increased awareness of interdependence with God and others, the stretching of an individual's limits to a transpersonal dimension, and the occurrence of a sense of unity and oneness with the consequence of healing. Through this connection, the nurse is identified as an active partner in the healing process. Although Nightingale (1969) provides the nursing foundation for understanding the healing process, healing is not limited to a nursing perspective.
Throughout the world, various cultures, religions, professions, and organizations propose their own interpretation of healing and the healing process.
Furthermore, literature on nursing provides a number of views and perspectives on healing, originating with Florence Nightingale and continuing with present-day theorists and the American Holistic Nursing Association ...