CNA Position Statement on Spirituality, Health and Nursing Practice

Canadian Nurses Association Position Statement on Spirituality, Health and Nursing Practice

June 2010, CNA issued their position statement on Spirituality, Health and Nursing Practice. The initiative behind this statement was the resolution put forward by PNIG at RNAO's AGM in April 2004, that "spiritual well-being be included in the WHO definition of Health". Dr. June Webber, Director, Department of International Policy and Development, CNA brought this issue to the attention of the International Council of Nurses (ICN). ICN regularly interacts with WHO, so they were in the best position to advocate for the 'spiritual dimension of the concept of health'. The response from the Director-General of WHO was that such a proposed change has been made in the past, the last time in 1999. It was not submitted to the Health Assembly, and no further action or discussion is planned.

Although it was disappointing, we were encouraged knowing that attempts have been made in the past. The proposed change was in the first paragraph of the preamble to the WHO Constitution to be amended as follows: " Health is a dynamic state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".

Following this, CNA initiated the writing of a this important document, with the help of members of PNIG. It recognizes the existence of new body of nursing literature and health science, and the growing interest in the spiritual aspect of health. It also acknowledges the specialty of parish/faith community nursing practice.

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ps111_spirituality_2010_e.pdf273.82 KB