Wellness & Resilience Faculty  Tool Kit  Competency-Based Development


Self-care Concept

Self-Care Concept

Definition:  The AACN Essentials defines “self-care” as the act of attending to one’s physical or mental health, generally without medical or other professional consultation.1 This definition aligns with the National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH) definition of taking the time to do things that help individuals live well and improve health and mental health.2  

In a first of its kind textbook, Self-Care for New and Student Nurses,3 many definitions of self-care are acknowledged, including Ashcraft and Gatto’s definition from their research as “deliberate decisions made and actions taken by individuals to address their own health and well-being”.

1. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2021). The Essentials: Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education.    

2. National Institute Mental Health. Caring for Your Mental Health

3. Fontaine, D.K., Cunningham, T., & May, N. (2021). Self-Care for New and Student Nurses. Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. Indianapolis, IN. 

4. Ashcraft, P.F. & Gatto, S.L. (2018). Curricular interventions to promote self-care in prelicensure nursing students. Nurse Educator, 43(3), 14—144. DOI: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000000450