The Use of Presence in the Nurse-Client Relationship

Monday, 9 November 2015

Pamela Allyn Di Vito-Thomas, ADN, BSN, MS, PhD, RN, CNE
Nursing, Methodist College and Health Professions, Peoria, IL, USA
Cherrill Iona Stockmann, PhD, MSN(R), BSN, RN, CNE
College of Nursing, Methodist College, Peoria, IL, USA

The significance of presence to the nurse-client relationship (NCR) has been clearly established. Although understood as foundational to the NCR, presence has not been clearly delineated as a nursing intervention and has often been subsumed under other nursing phenomena, such as caring, empathy, and therapeutic use of self. Knowledge of this intervention is limited with regard to its use across clinical settings as well as to associated client outcomes. Levels of presence described with the use of this intervention suggest that presence can be learned.  Without understanding grounded in the perceptions of nurses who have used presence as an intervention, nursing does not have a basis for its use in practice.

The purpose of this qualitative, descriptive study is to explore and describe how practicing, licensed registered nurses across practice settings implement presence to support client health outcomes through the NCR. Research findings will be used to build on prior research and to design educational programs for nurses. Research questions for this study considered the perceptions of the use of presence as an intervention in the NCR by practicing, licensed registered nurses. Focus group method using semi-structured guiding questions was used to collect data. Giorgi’s Human Scientific Phenomenological Method was used to analyze the data.