Strengths-Based Nursing and Healthcare (SBNH)

Contributor: Laurie N. Gottlieb
March 30, 2020
Author – Laurie N. Gottlieb, RN, PhD, ScD (hon), Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences (FCAHS)
First published – 2013

Loki Design.  © 2020 Laurie Gottlieb

Loki Design. © 2020 Laurie Gottlieb

Loki Design.  © 2020 Laurie Gottlieb

Major Concepts

Foundational Pillars:

  • Person-centered
  • Empowerment
  • Relational
  • Innate Capacities

Core Values:

  • Health and healing
  • Uniqueness
  • Holism (systems thinking) and embodiment
  • Subjective reality (multiple perspectives) and creating meaning
  • Self-determination
  • Collaborative Partnership
  • Learning, readiness, and timing
  • Person and environment are integral
Typology

A philosophy as well as a value driven approach

Brief Description

“Strengths-Based Nursing and Healthcare (SBNH) represents a new way of thinking in nursing philosophy that shifts from a deficit, reductionist lens to a strengths-based, holistic lens. Strengths are inner and outer resources that exist at the biological (cellular, person, and environment levels (micro to macro). SBNH considers the positives, those things that are best, those that are working, and those areas that show potential. This does not mean that a strengths approach ignores problems, pretends that deficits do not exist, nor turns a blind eye to weaknesses. Rather it is about finding the right balance between focusing on the positives, the strengths, while dealing with problems and deficits. It is about maximizing and developing strengths to minimize weaknesses, deficits, that which is not functioning as well as it could, and mitigating the deleterious effects caused by problems. It is about giving patients, families, and communities the tools to improve their health. It is about knowing individuals and their situations and situating their issues, concerns, symptoms, problems in the context of their lives, understanding their circumstances, knowing their strengths and how to capitalize and mobilize them to support health, alleviate suffering, help in recovery, and restore wholeness through acts of healing. In other words, it is about working with strengths to tackle new as well as long-standing problems and then finding new ways to care for people to help them find ways of dealing with them” (Gottlieb, 2013, Preface).

SBNH is inspired by the writings of Florence Nightingale and has evolved from the McGill Model of Nursing. Strengths-Based Nursing and Healthcare (SBNH) is a philosophy as well as a value-driven approach that is universal inasmuch as SBNH can guide clinicians to create environments that promote health and facilitate healing for person, family, and community; managers and leaders to create healthy productive workplace environments for colleagues and staff; and educators to create growth- promoting learning environments for learners.

Guided by the core values and using the SBNH spiralling process, SBNH clinicians uncover and discover strengths and come to understand patient and family concerns and clinical issues that require clinicians’ knowledge and expertise. The Spiralling Process was inspired by the Spiralling Model developed by Deborah Moudarres and Helene Ezer, McGill University, 1995. There are essential qualities that SBNH clinicians/leaders/educators have to strive to develop within themselves. These include Strengths of Mindset (qualities: mindfulness, humility, open-mindedness, nonjudgmental attitudes); Strengths of Knowledge and Knowing (qualities: curiosity and self-reflection); Strengths of Relationships (qualities: respect and trust; empathy, compassion and loving kindness); Strengths of Advocacy (qualities; self-efficacy, courage). These qualities determine how the foundational pillars and eight core values are enacted.

Sources
Web resources

International Institute of Strengths-Based Nursing & Healthcare (SBNH)

Primary source

Gottlieb, L. N. (2013). Strengths-based nursing care: Health and healing for person and family. New York: Springer.

Source for Spiralling Process figure

Gottlieb, L. N. (2013). Strengths-based nursing care: Health and healing for person and family. New York: Springer.

Sources for Value Wheel figure

Gottlieb, L. N. (2013). Strengths-based nursing care: Health and healing for person and family. New York: Springer.

Gottlieb, L.N. (2014). Strengths-Based Nursing: A holistic approach to care, grounded in eight core values. American Journal of Nursing, 114(8), 24-32.

Gottlieb, L. N., & Benner, P. (2013). Strengths-based nursing: Moving beyond deficits in nursing practice and nursing education. Educating Nurses Newsletter. Retrieved from www.educatingnurses.com.

Gottlieb, L.N., Gottlieb, B. & Shamian, J. (2012). Principles of Strengths-Based Nursing Leadership for Strengths-Based Nursing Care: A new paradigm for nursing and healthcare for the 21st century. Journal of Nursing Leadership, 25(2), 35-46.

Sources for Foundational Pillars figure

Gottlieb, L. N. (2013). Strengths-based nursing care: Health and healing for person and family. New York: Springer Publishing Company.

Gottlieb, L.N. & Ponzoni, N. (2015). Strengths-Based Nursing: A value driven approach to practice. (Chapter 4: pp. 44-59). In J. J. Fitzpatrick & A.L. Whall. Conceptual models of nursing: Analysis and application: Global perspectives (5th Ed.). New York, NY: Pearson.

Other Works by Laurie Gottlieb

Gottlieb, L.N. & Gottlieb, B. (2017). Strengths-Based Nursing: A process for implementing a philosophy into practice. Journal of Family Nursing, 23, 319-340.

Gottlieb, L.N. (2014). Strengths-Based Nursing: A holistic approach to care, grounded in eight core values. American Journal of Nursing, 114(8), 24-32.

Gottlieb. L.N. & Benner. P. (2013, November 21). Strengths-Based Nursing: Moving beyond deficits in nursing practice and nursing education. Educating Nurses Newsletter.

Gottlieb, L.N., Feeley, N. with Dalton, C. (2005). The collaborative partnership: A delicate balance. Toronto, CA: Elsevier.

Author – Laurie N. Gottlieb (Canada, 1946 – )

Photo by Mat Smith, 2017

Dr. Laurie Gottlieb is the developer of Strengths-Based Nursing and Healthcare (SBNH), a philosophy and a value-driven approach that guides clinicians, leaders, managers, educators, and researchers. In 2013, Dr. Gottlieb published Strengths-Based Nursing Care: Health and Healing for Person and Family. The book was awarded first place in the 2013 AJN Book of the Year Awards in the Nursing Education/Continuing Education category. This landmark publication was the first practical guide for nurses on how to incorporate the knowledge, skills, and tools of SBNH into everyday practice.

Dr. Gottlieb is a Professor in the Ingram School of Nursing at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. She holds the Flora Madeline Shaw Chair of Nursing at McGill University and is the Nurse-Scholar-in-Residence at the CIUSSS Centre-Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal (Jewish General Hospital) in Montreal. She is also the Visiting Professor of Leadership at the Canadian Nurses Association and is co-director of the International Institute of Strengths-Based Nursing and Health Care. She was the former director of the Ingram School of Nursing and was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Journal of Nursing Research for 22 years. She played a major role in the development of the McGill Model of Nursing, a precursor to Strengths-Based Nursing and Healthcare. She earned her baccalaureate degree in nursing, Master’s degree in nursing, and a doctorate in developmental psychology from McGill University. She is the principal investigator of a multi-site, multi-disciplinary Partnership Grant entitled Transforming Nurses’ Work Environments Through a Strengths-Based Leadership and Management Training Program co-funded by the Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council and the Canadian Institute of Health Research.

Dr. Gottlieb has authored many books, book chapters, monographs, and peer-reviewed articles. Her books have been translated into French, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and Dutch. She is the recipient of the Centennial Award, the first and one-time only award from the Canadian Nurses Association recognizing the 100 most influential nurses in Canada. She has also received L’Insigne Du Merit, the highest recognition accorded to a nurse from the Order of Nurses of the Province of Quebec and the Prix du Conseil interprofessionnel du Québec, a recognition bestowed by the Interprofessional Council of the Province of Quebec. She was elected to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences and received an honorary doctorate from Université Laval.