Strengths-based nursing (SBN) is an approach to care that focuses on empowering patients and their families by recognizing and utilizing their strengths. In SBN, nurses prioritize patients’ inner and outer strengths, identifying what they do best to cope with problems and minimize deficits. This approach aims to create environments and experiences that enable patients and families to take control of their own lives and healthcare decisions. SBN also respects individuals’ self-knowledge, values their autonomy and choice, and recognizes that circumstances, knowledge, and predisposition may limit their ability to act in their own interest.
The current healthcare system is transitioning towards a model that emphasizes community-based and primary care, with hospitals serving as a central pillar but not the primary service. This shift has led to the development of strength-based nursing care, which focuses on developing individuals’ strengths to promote healing. From the perspective of SBN, the nurse’s role is to assist patients in achieving their goals in the healthiest way possible. This role involves active listening, clarifying information, providing suggestions and resources, and advocating for patients and their families to ensure their voices are heard.
Strengths-Based Care (SBC) requires nurses to use a process that uncovers patients’ concerns, gets to know them and their families as individuals, and identifies their strengths in order to plan and deliver nursing care. However, in order to practice strength-based nursing care, nurses require strong nursing leadership to support and enable them in their approach. The implementation of strength-based nursing care has the potential to revolutionize healthcare and become a game changer in the field.
It is important to note that strengths-based nursing care does not negate the need to address deficits and weaknesses in patients. Instead, it recognizes that both strengths and deficits are essential aspects of the whole person. While physicians typically focus on diagnosing and treating problems, the medical model does not necessarily have to be a deficit model. Physicians can also adopt a strengths perspective and practice whole-person care.
The strengths-based approach in nursing care aligns with the broader shift towards person-centered care in healthcare. It recognizes the importance of individualizing care based on patients’ strengths, preferences, and values. By focusing on patients’ strengths, nurses can foster a sense of empowerment, hope, and self-efficacy. This can contribute to improved patient outcomes, satisfaction, and overall well-being.
Research has shown that strengths-based nursing care has numerous benefits. One study found that patients who participated in a strengths-based intervention reported improved self-esteem, better coping strategies, and increased motivation to engage in health-promoting behaviors. Another study demonstrated that nursing interventions based on patients’ strengths resulted in higher levels of patient satisfaction and perceived quality of care.
Despite the promising outcomes and growing interest in strengths-based nursing care, there are challenges and limitations. One challenge is the scarcity of resources and time, which can make it difficult for nurses to thoroughly assess patients’ strengths and implement individualized care plans. Additionally, there may be a lack of education and training on strengths-based approaches in nursing curricula and professional development programs.
In conclusion, strengths-based nursing (SBN) is an approach to care that focuses on recognizing and utilizing patients’ strengths to promote empowerment, hope, and self-efficacy. It emphasizes the importance of listening to patients, clarifying information, and advocating for their needs and preferences. The transition towards community-based and primary care has led to the development of strength-based nursing care, which has the potential to revolutionize healthcare. While there are challenges and limitations, the benefits of strengths-based nursing care are evident in improved patient outcomes and satisfaction. With strong nursing leadership and continued research and education, strengths-based nursing care can become a fundamental aspect of healthcare practice.