The school offers diverse and comprehensive nursing education programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The programs of study, based on professional standards, prepare individuals to provide nursing care in a variety of settings. The School of Nursing supports nursing research that contributes to the health and well- being of society. The School is committed to serving culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse populations. Through academic and community collaboration, the school promotes excellence in nursing education, research, practice, and service.
The School of Nursing Baccalaureate curriculum framework is based on the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (2009), the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies, and the theoretical framework described by Patricia Benner: Novice to Expert. The faculty believes that the foci of professional nursing are individuals, families, and communities. The framework also includes the professional concepts described below as curricular threads.
The Individual is seen as a complex whole whose existence involves patterns, dynamic change, transformation and interdependence. The individual interrelates within the environment in biological, psychological, social, spiritual, cultural and other dimensions. The individual is unique and universal. The individual is a thinking, feeling, interacting, evolving, creating, valuing being.
Families are individuals dynamically connected with each other over time in traditional and non-traditional configurations.
Communities are groups of people with one or more common characteristics who are in relationship to one another and may or may not interact.
Health is comparative, dynamic, multidimensional and has personal meaning. It includes disease, non-disease and quality of life. People have the right to participate in decisions affecting and effecting personal health.
Environment includes all living and non-living dimensions with which the individual, family and community have interrelationships. The dynamic environmental interrelations define and establish rules for health and modes of action.
Nursing is an art and a science. The discipline of nursing is concerned with individual, family, and community and their responses to health within the context of the changing health care environment. Professional nursing includes the appraisal and the enhancement of health. Personal meanings of health are understood in the nursing situation within the context of familial, societal and cultural meanings. The professional nurse uses knowledge from theories and research in nursing and other disciplines in providing nursing care The role of the nurse involves the exercise of social, cultural and political responsibilities, including accountability for professional actions, provision of quality nursing care and community involvement.
Education is an individualized, life-long process. Learning includes the individual's interrelations with the environment, knowledge and skill acquisition, development of critical thinking, and self awareness. Self-expression enables the student to respond to clients who have unique human values and cultural heritage. Each nursing student brings attitudes, beliefs, values, feelings, knowledge and experience into the learning environment. These variables influence learning that occurs through continual construction and reconstruction of experiences in relation to environmental influences.
Nursing education at the baccalaureate level synthesizes knowledge from nursing, humanities, social, cultural, physical, and natural sciences to operationalize clinical decision making. The student is prepared to function as a nurse generalist in a variety of settings. Faculty and students continually seek to refine the commitment to an understanding of the relationship between theory and practice. Students are encouraged to become self-directed, collaborative, interdependent and independent. These variables are the foundation for life-long learning and professional development.
Nursing education at the master's level builds upon baccalaureate nursing education and provides foundation for doctoral study. Graduate education prepares advanced practice nurses with expertise in critical thinking and decision making, effective communication, and therapeutic interventions through a variety of learning experiences. Master of Science in Nursing students analyze and use theoretical formulations and research findings in advanced practice.