Human beings are multidimensional, bio-psycho-social-spiritual beings in constant interaction with their internal (self) and external environment. People have individual characteristics, needs and goals and unique modes of adapting to their environment. These characteristics are influenced by culture, race and ethnicity.
Each person responds to their changing environment in a unified manner striving to adapt by using innate and learned bio-psycho-social-spiritual responses. Human beings interact dynamically with their environment to maintain and achieve effective adaptive mechanisms toward a quality of life compatible with their individual and socio-cultural values.
Health is a dynamic, evolving process characterized by adaptive responses to internal and external environments. An optimal state of health is achieved when human beings are developing and achieving their own goals, when they perceive and cope with environmental stressors with effective modes of adaptation toward high levels of wellness.
The concept of health involves a continuum from wellness to deviation of wellness to death, and is relative to human beings in the context of the society and culture in which they live.
Nursing is an essential humanistic practice whose focus is the promotion of health-oriented adaptive responses of clients (individuals, families and communities) to actual or potential health problems. Professional nursing practice derives from a nursing theoretical base, reflects a synthesis of knowledge from the human and natural sciences and is guided by values consistent with nursing’s humanistic orientation that recognized the clients integrity, autonomy and dignity. The professional nurse provides nursing care to maintain or increase the client’s optimal state of health. These nursing interventions require clinical judgment skills in assessing, diagnosing and evaluating human responses to factors affecting the client’s state of health.
The professional nurse applies research findings to her/his practice, using research in the evaluation and improvement of practice. She demonstrates accountability for her/his own practice, is guided by personal and professional ethical standards, recognizes the client's goals and preferences and functions as a client advocate. The professional nurse uses leadership skills in her/his practice and collaborates with other health professionals in the improvement of health care delivery. She/he focuses upon the learning needs of the client related to health, implementing teaching plans and evaluating learning outcomes. The professional nurse practices in a variety of settings, traditional and unstructured.
Education is an interactive process by which faculty and students pursue and share knowledge through planned experiences with an emphasis on the development of a spirit of inquiry, critical thinking and communications skills. Learning is a holistic process, which effects a change in behavior, the change resulting from the interaction of the individual and his/her environment. Learning involves the acquisition of knowledge, skills and attitudes, and the development of insight into the implications of theories to practice. Learning that is significant is basically self-directed and characterized by learner active participation in assessing needs, identifying and evaluating goals and planning educational activities. Faculty provide for the organization of content and the structure for the learning experience. The teaching process encourages and facilitates student exploration of various modes of inquiry for the purpose of individual growth. Education is a lifelong process that fosters a commitment to continued professional and personal growth.
Nursing education provides a structure and atmosphere wherein nursing knowledge is taught with focus on its scientific, humanistic and ethical content. Faculty and students share responsibilities for planning experiences to explore the issues, standards of practice and values of the profession. The student expands his/her nursing knowledge and theory base and integrates knowledge from the humanities and natural and human sciences.
Registered nurse students, as adult learners, have unique needs, are diverse in their experiential backgrounds and represent wide ranges of individual differences in their types and of pace of learning and readiness to learn. Undergraduate and graduate education for nursing promotes self-directed learning, builds upon previous learning and increases the learner's professional knowledge base, facilitates changes in professional role perceptions and behavior and provides for the internalization of knowledge, values and roles of the profession.
Graduate nursing education
Graduate nursing education builds on the knowledge base and practice competencies of the baccalaureate prepared nurse while expanding the philosophical, theoretical and scientific basis for the practice of nursing in more complex and diverse environments. Graduate education supports the development of holistic, higher order reasoning, ethical and clinical judgment and decision making in support of expanded professional practice in specialty domains such as nursing education and adult health nursing. A mature and developed professional judgment and spirit of inquiry, an advanced skill base and internalization of professional values and assumptions supporting advanced practice characterize professional practice at the graduate level. Master’s prepared advanced practice nurses utilize a broad range of conceptual and theoretical models to promote health and support professional practice. Advanced practice nurses are able to articulate increasingly sophisticated theoretical and philosophical assumptions about nursing, nursing practice and nursing education and health care and demonstrate advanced professional competencies as defined by the nursing profession and specialty groups.
Graduate Program Outcomes
demonstrate a philosophy of nursing that is holistic, compassionate and sensitive to culture, race and ethnic diversity in health practices
synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge from nursing and the human and natural sciences to provide rationale for advanced practice nursing
demonstrate the ability to analyze implications of legal and ethical accountability of the advanced practice nurse
assume ethical accountability for the quality of one’s own advanced practice
engage in scholarly inquiry to improve nursing education and practice, provide quality health care and initiate change
prepare to function in the role of the advanced practice nurse upon graduation to serve as leader/change agent in advancing the practice of nursing and nursing education to achieve desired outcomes
formulate a commitment to continued professional development and lifelong learning in the pursuit of excellence in the advanced practice role
Graduate Program Purposes
The program builds on the knowledge base and practice competencies of the baccalaureate prepared nurse and prepares the graduate for advanced professional practice.
Clinical nurse specialist in adult health concentration graduates are prepared to actualize the multi-faceted role of the clinical nurse specialist in a variety of health care settings, reflecting the three spheres of influence; patient/client, nurses and nursing practice and organization/systems.
Nursing education concentration graduates are prepared for nurse educator positions in either academic or in service settings or in patient education.
The program provides a foundation for doctoral education in nursing.
The program provides the knowledge base and experiences that will support the transition to advanced practice nursing.