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The faculty holds the following beliefs about person, environment, health, nursing and nursing education:
Each person is a developing holistic being with intrinsic value and worth that interacts continuously with the environment. Each person has similar needs including physiological, psychosocial, cultural, and spiritual. A person’s needs vary, as does their ability to meet these needs. Persons from diverse backgrounds are able to choose among alternative outcomes, set goals, and make decision based on needs and developmental level.
The environment includes all internal and external physical, psychosocial, cultural and spiritual conditions affecting individuals, groups and populations. Unique responses by the individuals, groups or populations to constant interaction with the environment result in varying degrees of health. A focus of nursing is to optimize the environment, in diverse health care settings in order to prevent illness; promote, maintain or restore health; or provide end of life care.
Health is a dynamic phenomenon, experienced in a unique way by each individual. It can best be viewed on a wellness/ illness continuum in which adjustments are made in order to maintain the relative constancy called homeostasis. Homeostasis is the ability of the person to maintain a state of balance or equilibrium while interacting with the environment. Wellness is a state of health in which basic needs are being met and homeostasis is maintained. A health problem can be any actual or potential concern or condition which must be resolved or prevented to maintain optimal health of the individual. If unresolved, the problem will result in illness or death, an alteration in the state of health in which there is an inability to meet basic needs and maintain homeostasis.
Nursing is the art and science of assisting clients, significant support persons, groups and/or populations to maximize health outcomes. Nursing is involved in assisting clients with health promotion, disease prevention, attaining or maintaining optimal health and/or dying with peace and dignity. Nursing functions independently, dependently, and in collaboration with other health care providers to achieve the above goals. Knowledge, theory and research from nursing and related disciplines are utilized for nursing practice. Nursing uses the nursing process to assess and meet the needs of clients. Roles that nursing assumes are provider of care, manager of care and member within the discipline of nursing. Nursing entails ethical and legal accountability and responsibility to self, individuals and society.
Learning is the continuous, active process of acquiring new knowledge, skills, and values that bring about actual or potential change in behaviors. Learning occurs within the individual, building on previous educational, personal and professional experience as applicable. For the associate degree program, each learning experience is planned and organized to provide for individual learning needs and achievement of identified learning objectives with supplemental experiences provided as needed. In order to assist students to attain the necessary competencies, the faculty select a variety of clinical environments. In the BSN Completion, opportunities are provided for students to participate in directing their own learning within the domain of nursing. Active learning strategies such as on-line classes, attendance at workshops, community projects, communication with legislators, seminar days, etc. are utilized to enhance learning.
Nursing education is a dynamic teaching-learning process involving active participation by both faculty and student. The faculty presents opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential to provide holistic nursing care. Nursing education integrates knowledge from the liberal arts and sciences, enhancing critical thinking through utilization of a broad knowledge base. The National League of Nursing (NLN) 2000 publication, Educational Competencies of Graduates of Associate Degree Nursing Programs provides guidelines for associate degree nursing education and practice; whereas, the BSN Completion program utilize the AACN Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (2008) to prepare baccalaureate nurses for professional role sets and the essentials. The AAS and BSN programs establish the foundation required for continued education within the discipline of nursing.
The purpose of associate degree nursing is to prepare graduates who apply the nursing process in the provision of direct nursing care in diverse settings where policies and procedures are specified and guidance are available. Therefore, the associate curriculum is grounded in the liberal arts and includes professional values, core competencies, core knowledge and role development. The associate degree graduate is prepared to function as a provider of care, a member of the profession and a manager of care in acute and community based settings.
The nurse prepared at the baccalaureate level is a professional who has acquired a well-delineated and broad knowledge base for practice. Emphasis within the program is placed on role development and core competencies essential to professional nursing practice. The baccalaureate graduate is prepared to provide and manage care for individuals, groups and populations in diverse settings. The baccalaureate graduate is also a member of the profession.