Despite nursing’s historical commitment to spiritual care and to research that supports the desire of patients to have their spiritual needs addressed while hospitalized, many nurses today feel underprepared to meet the spiritual needs of their patients. Results of a survey of satisfaction among patients in our cardiovascular progressive care unit indicate that addressing the spiritual needs of patients is an area in which we could improve. In response, we decided to address the question “How can staff nurses better assist patients and their families with spiritual concerns?”

Systematic reviews support a relationship between religion/spirituality and health,1,2  and patients themselves also indicate a desire for a spiritual component in their care. Analysis by the Joint Commission of 2001 Press Ganey national inpatient data showed that (1) patients place a high value on emotional and spiritual needs while in the hospital,...

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