Nursing Program Philosophy

Nursing is a caring profession whose members advocate for and provide health care to diverse individuals across the life span in various settings. Building on a broad knowledge base, nursing is both an art and a science.

The individual, as a member of a family and community, is a unique being, innately worthy of respect and dignity. Each individual is viewed as multifaceted with physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual components.

Health is a dynamic state that reflects adaptation responses in order to maintain physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and spiritual well-being. Health reflects the individual's ability to maintain essential life functions, including protective, sensory-perceptual, comfort/rest, activity/mobility, nutrition/metabolism, fluid and gas transport, elimination, psychosocial-cultural, and growth and development (including reproduction) functions. Variations and/or alterations in any function potentially affect health. Wellness requires the integration of health practices by individuals throughout life in order to reach their optimum potential. Illness exists when adaptation responses are ineffective and/or incomplete. Nurses collaborate with clients and the healthcare team in the promotion and maintenance of health, management of illness, restoration of function, education of individuals, and preservation of dignity.

The art of nursing is based upon wisdom, effective communication, and respect for human dignity and encompasses the caring aspect of the profession. Caring incorporates compassion, integrity, responsibility, and ethical practices. Caring also includes advocacy for clients and families in ways that promote their self-determination, integrity, and ongoing growth as individuals. As a science, nursing utilizes critical thinking in a clinical decision-making process. The art and science of nursing are woven together in the implementation of caring interventions. Nurses make judgments based on knowledge and evidence to provide safe, quality care. The nurse uses communication, collaboration, and coordination to effectively manage the care of individuals and/or groups of clients. In support of positive client and organizational outcomes, the nurse is accountable for care delegated to others and the efficient use of resources. As an ever-changing profession, nursing responds to advances in health care by incorporating evidence-based practice and informatics, as well as current standards of practice.

The nurse demonstrates professional behavior by functioning within the ethical and legal framework of nursing practice and in accordance with the standards of nursing care. Professional behavior further encompasses the responsibility for personal and professional growth, continued learning, and self-development.

Nursing education is a continuous, lifelong process that results in observable and measurable changes in knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Nursing education is best accomplished in an institution of higher learning where knowledge from the areas of natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, written and oral communication, humanities, mathematics, and technology is integrated with nursing science. This provides learners with a foundation on which to develop the competencies needed to assist individuals with actual or potential health alterations. The curriculum of the nursing program is derived from identified program student learning outcomes (PSLOs) that are used in the development of course outcomes, learning objectives, activities, and evaluation methodologies. Upon graduation from an associate degree nursing program, the graduate is eligible to take the NCLEX-RN and qualified for entry level practice as a registered nurse.



A response to a stressor through which an individual attempts to maintain health.

Caring Interventions:

Individual actions to assist clients in achieving their optimum state of health.

Categories of Life Function:

An organizational framework, which focuses on physical and psychosocial essential to maintain life. The ability to function adequately in each component results in a healthy individual.

  • Variation in Function: Differences in function occurring within accepted ranges, often between individuals of similar age, size, etc.
  • Alteration in Function: Changes in function that may require adaptation responses by the individual and intervention by healthcare providers.


Individual who interacts with healthcare providers, frequently as a result of variation(s) and/or alteration(s) in function that require intervention. The client may be an individual, individual and significant support person(s), or group of individuals.

Clinical Decision Making Process (also referred to as the Nursing Process):

Application of critical thinking in a decision making process to nursing practice that includes five phases:

  • Assessment: collection and validation of data about the client’s state of adaptation and ability to maintain life functions.
  • Analysis: Categorization and interpretation of data leading to the identification of a nursing diagnosis.
  • Planning: Establishment of priorities, development of client outcomes, and identification of specific interventions for implementation.
  • Implementation: Initiation and completion of interventions.
  • Evaluation: Planned, systematic comparison of the client’s state of adaptation with previously established client outcomes to determine if the outcomes have been achieved, resulting in a modification in the plan of care.


Broad statement that describe nursing practice from which specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes are derived.

Critical Thinking:

Intellectual and disciplined process of conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information.

Evidence Based Practice:

Integration of best available research with clinical experience, client’s preferences, and available resources in planning and implementing care.

Health Promotion:

Activities directed toward attaining, maintaining, or enhancing individual health, well-being or safety.


Use of technology to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate information.

Program Student Learning Outcomes:

Expected changes in student knowledge, skills, and attitudes that occur as a result of a formal educational experience.

Standard of Practice


A state of optimal health or potential achieved by individuals through the integration of health practices.