Spiritually Competent Practice and Cultural Aspects of Spirituality

John Wattis, Melanie Rogers, Gulnar Ali, Stephen Curran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter we introduce the concept of spiritually competent practice as a way of avoiding disputes about the definition of spirituality and avoiding confusion with religion. Spiritually competent practice is described. It involves compassionate engagement, supporting people in sustaining a sense of meaning and purpose even when it is challenged by suffering and illness. It addresses the whole person as a unique individual, in the context of their family and cultural connections. As well as specific competencies it requires personal qualities, including the capacity to form I-Thou relationships and a managerial system that enables practitioners to attend to personal as well as technical aspects of healthcare. An ontological model for lifelong learning through reflective practice is presented. Availability and Vulnerability, a framework relating to personal qualities and specifically developed in research with APNs, is described and illuminated by a case study. This can also be understood within the overarching description of spiritually competent practice. We have looked briefly at how to take into account cultural issues without forgetting that individuals within a culture also have their own personal understanding of what spirituality means to them which is not necessarily congruent with their cultural background.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpiritual Dimensions of Advanced Practice Nursing
Subtitle of host publicationStories of Hope
EditorsMelanie Rogers
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9783030714642
ISBN (Print)9783030714666, 9783030714635
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2021

Publication series

NameAdvanced Practice in Nursing
ISSN (Print)2511-3917
ISSN (Electronic)2511-3925


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