The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay

The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay

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 . The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay.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 in Nursing Essay.



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 .The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay. 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. The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay.


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.

The purpose of this assignment is to explore the meaning, definitions and various characteristics of the concept of hope. Moreover, its relevance and obstacles in nursing practice will also be discussed in this framework. Hope sets a foundation stone for an individual’s life to expect good to happen in future which gives positive energy to an individual. Analysis on hope is important, because hope is a basic element of human existence (Vaillot, 1970). In addition the term hope is essential in nursing as well as in healthcare practices. So, it is relevant to analyze the concept of hope as it has a therapeutic effect on promoting the wellbeing of an individual.

Defining the concept of hope

In the literature review, different definitions of hope with its different attributes can be found. Hope is an essential aspect of an individual which gives meanings and values to their life. Hope is defined as a multidimensional personal construct with cognitive and affective dimensions that reflect a realistic appraisal of the situation and anticipation of a good outlook (McCann 2002).In this context, hope have various aspects which will be unique to an individual. Furthermore, the concept is future oriented positive expectation related to reality. Herth (1990) stated that hope is a source of energy, enabling healthy coping, and influencing survival. While an individual experiences hardship in his life, the hopefulness helps him to adjust with the situation. Therefore, the above statement illustrates that hope and coping are interrelated each other enabling an individual to survive in crisis situation. Tennen et al (2010) stated that hope is a thought to motivate goal directed actions in the face of impediments. For instance, if a terminally ill person shows hopefulness towards their life that hope can bring positive effect to survive with their condition. This means hope is a source of energy which influences healthy coping with the situation. Further, this objective oriented perception facilitates an individual to cope up with the circumstances. Hope is exactly what is needed to stay engaged in the living while shouldering the burden of an uncertain future (Kalina, 2001).Through hoping the individual will continue to be focused on his future. The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay. Moreover, hope gives life meaning, direction, and an optimistic focus (Lillis and Prophit, 1991). The individual will find out meaning of his life which further directs him towards goals. Woelk (2008) described that “hope is one of the necessary traits of a successful life, it ties into what we expect out of life is for us”. Therefore, the concept of hope is identified as a necessary quality of an individual as it is helping a person to succeed in their life. It connects with present as well as future expectation of a person. Moreover, hoping can assist an individual to maintain positive attitude towards their life. According to Herrestad et al. (2010) hope is a movement of appetite aroused by the perception of what is agreeable, future, arduous, and possible of attainment of desire. The expression of indefinite hope may serve to ignore expression of failure, disappointment and hopelessness. Mathis et al. (2010) describes that hopeful style of thinking was associated with adaptive coping and greater adjustment when faced with stress. In above perspective the concept of hope plays an important role when an individual deal with disease condition. As a result of incredible willpower and healthy coping an individual can be speedily recovered from the illness despite of all challenges which they confront in their disease condition. . Hope is identified as a dispositional concept, which stays stable across different situations and overtime. According to Lohne (2004) the phenomenon of hope is a prospective phenomenon as it is future oriented (in relation to the process) and with a positive content (in relation to the substance).In this study ‘hope’ was defined as future oriented towards improvement. Certain attributes of hope are discovered by evaluating above analysis. According to Johnson (2007) concluded that positive expectation, personal qualities, spirituality, goal oriented, comfort, help/caring, interpersonal relationships, control and legacy are considered as some of the characteristics of hope. Moreover, it is a multidimensional dynamic aspect which helps a person to live in present as well as in future. Although the concept of has certain common characteristics, it will be different to the individual according to their perception. Moreover, it tranquilizes a person perception and helps him to move forward with confidence. The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay.

Relevance of hope in nursing

The concept of hope in nursing practice is identified as significant aspect. Moreover, it is connected with nursing activities and role of a professional nurse is to instill hope in patient with chronic illness (Roberts, 1978). The term hope stands to be an indefinable, blurred, ambiguous and over used concept in nursing practice. The nurses while delivering care maintain hope in their patient as it helps to cope up with suffering and is considered as powerful mechanism of healing. Furthermore, it is important to sustain hope in terminally ill patients in order to encourage and support them to live their remaining days fruitfully and find meaning in their life.


Davison and Simpson (2006) stated that hope is the basic process in advance cares planning for those patients that their hopes help them to determine their future goals. In this view, nurses who encourage, support and plan can smooth the progress of advance care planning especially at the end stage of client’s life. The importance of hope in the nursing practices can be understood as a sum of intrinsic motivation, personal self efficacy and outcome expectancy (Roth and Hammelstein, 2007). Therefore, it is necessary for a nurse to motivate patient through their inspiring presence and support to achieve good patient outcome. Moreover, it is needed to maintain hope in patients since it is the easiest method to gain the confidence of patient as well as important for the physical, psychological, and mental rehabilitation of patients. It act as restoration of the general abilities and maintain trust towards health care system. Goal planning gives a sense of future, and working toward something reinforces hope’. (Von Roenn and Von Gunten, 2003).Therefore, nurses has to encourage patient thus they can have a sense of wellbeing in their life. The most common symptom in advanced cancer is pain, but other symptoms must also be alleviated such as diarrhea and dyspnoea, in order to make room for hope’. (Benzeinet al, 2001).In this perspectives, while the patient suffering from chronic illness, nurses have to address their minor ailments also, which can ensure a feeling of hopefulness in patient with chronic disease. Moreover, Flemming (1997) stated that health care professionals are working with individuals with a potential for loss of control, it is essential that care is delivered in a manner that can enable maximum autonomy, and therefore, hope’. So, it is essential for nurses to provide freedom for a patient to maintain good inter personal relationship. The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay. According to Johnson (2006) the concept of hope as perceived by patients with terminal illness, to develop hope as evidence based nursing concept, to contribute new knowledge and insight about hope to the relatively new field of palliative care, endeavouring to maximize the qualitative of life of terminally ill patients in the future. There are some barriers that can pull out a nurse to preserve hope in their patient during their care delivery. The negative outcomes in patient condition, lack of knowledge in both nurse and patient about treatment and poor communication skill can withdraw a nurse to sustain hope in patient. Further, Jackson et al (2000) identified that lack of diversity among health care staff, lack of knowledge regarding health care system, differences in values regarding medical care or disagreement with treatment, differences in spiritual beliefs and fear related to death are some of the barriers that prevent the application of the concept of hope in nursing practice. Even though the concept of hope’s application in nursing practice has some obstacles, it is identified as a significant notion in health care practices.


To sum up, it is identified from the above analysis with different perspectives that the concept of hope has significant role in human life and health care practices. In addition, the relevance and impediments of the concept hope in nursing practice was also recognized in this piece of work. The process of hoping helps both nurse and patient to find out meaning of their future life. In health care practices nurses have unique position in maintaining hope in their patient while they are providing care to the patient with life-threatening illness. Besides, understanding the concept and its relevance in care delivery helps a nurse to get good patient outcome by providing quality care to the patient.  The Concept of Hope in Nursing Essay.

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