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Philosophy & Organizing Framework


The faculty of the Carolyn McKelvey Moore School of Nursing hold certain values about nursing and the educational process. These values form the framework in which learning activities move in a logical progression throughout the curriculum and are based on the following concepts:

client is a unique holistic individual with worth, rights, and responsibilities. All clients have needs. Fulfillment of these needs occurs within the context of their culture and responses to life experiences.

Health is a dynamic state that encompasses the holistic client. Health results from the client's response to changes in the internal and external environments. Health occurs along the wellness/illness continuum and is influenced by personal and cultural values.

Environment is the conditions or influences within which the client exists. Stimuli within the internal and external environment are constantly interacting and affecting the individual, family, and community’s position on the wellness/illness continuum.

Nursing, as an art and science, is a dynamic profession with an evolving body of knowledge that is supported by research within the profession as well as from principles and theories from other disciplines. Nursing focuses on assisting clients to meet needs along the wellness/illness continuum. Nurses use the nursing process in the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health in culturally diverse clients throughout their lifespan. Changes in the current healthcare environment reflect an increased complexity in client needs and delivery systems and, thus, necessitate various levels of nursing educational preparation.

Nursing education is the means by which students learn to practice nursing and is best provided in an institution of higher learning. Learning is a lifelong activity that is purposeful and motivated by individual needs. An environment of learning is provided for students and conveys the complex components of the nursing profession: the caring, the art, and the science of the profession. The various levels of nursing education include, but are not limited to, practical nursing, associate degree nursing, and baccalaureate degree nursing. Each type of nursing education program provides a unique and valuable contribution to health care.

Baccalaureate nursing education is based upon a liberal arts and science foundation and forms the basis for the practice of professional nursing. Baccalaureate nursing education occurs in a facilitated learner-centered environment that considers the unique needs of the student. The baccalaureate curriculum emphasizes critical thinking, research and evidence-based practice, communication, leadership and management, health promotion, and professional role development and provides the student with a foundation for graduate study.

Baccalaureate nursing utilizes evidence-based practice to provide care to culturally diverse individuals, families, populations, and communities across a variety of settings. Baccalaureate nursing practice integrates knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes essential for performing the interrelated roles of provider of care, designer, manager, and coordinator of care, and member of a profession. The baccalaureate-prepared nurse possesses the professional values, core competencies, and core knowledge identified by the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2008).

Organizing Framework

The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (2008) was used to structure and organize the nursing curriculum. The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education is implemented throughout the curriculum using the concepts of critical thinking, research (Scholarship of Evidence-Based Practice), communication (Interprofessional Communication and Collaboration; Information Management), leadership and management (Basic Organizational and Systems Leadership; Health Policy), health promotion (Clinical Prevention and Population Health) and professional development (Professionalism and Professional Values).

Critical thinking “includes questioning, analysis, synthesis, interpretation, inferences, inductive and deductive reasoning, intuition, application and creativity” (AACN, White Paper on the Education and Role of the Clinical Nurse Leader, 2007).

Research is the scholarly inquiry, which culminates in evidence-based practice.
Communication is a “complex, ongoing, and interactive process which forms the basis for interpersonal relationships” (AACN, 2007).
Leadership and management are overlapping concepts. Leadership is a process of influencing people to accomplish goals whereas management relates to resource coordination and integration to achieve goals.
Health promotion is the science and art of supporting positive health practices to maximize the quality of life.
Professional development is a process of life-long learning that enables the nurse to function in the roles of provider of care designer/manager/coordinator of care and member of a profession.

Core competencies, derived from the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice and the SON Program philosophy, are operationalized to determine student learning, course, and program outcomes and are used by faculty to facilitate student achievement of these outcomes. The Competency Outcomes and Performance Assessment Model (COPA) is used to assess student achievement of outcomes. The COPA Model emphasizes practice-based outcomes, practice-focus learning, and structured, objective assessment of performance competencies.