Curriculum Committee Approved Mar. 09
The philosophy of the nursing faculty at the College of Nursing is congruent with the missions of the College of Nursing and UMSL Faculty and staff are dedicated to providing nursing education that prepares graduates as professionals to practice in generalist nursing roles, advanced nursing roles, and as nurse scientists in all health care systems. All academic programs reflect the faculty's beliefs about nursing, clients, health, environment, and nursing education.
The faculty believes that nursing is a profession and an academic discipline possessing a scientific body of knowledge that requires critical thinking, problem solving, and informatics. The primary function of nursing is to educate and assist the client to promote, protect, maintain, restore, and support health, or, to provide for a peaceful death. As a profession, nursing encompasses moral, ethical, legal, and scientific dimensions. Nurses are accountable to society for their practice and responsible for functioning within economic, legal, and moral/ethical parameters. Nursing practice is both theory and evidence based, using theories from nursing and other related disciplines. Nurses synthesize and apply knowledge from the arts, sciences, and humanities in nursing practice utilizing interpersonal communication to meet the complex and multidimensional needs of the client in a variety of health care settings throughout the metropolitan area and beyond. Through leadership and strategic partnerships, this knowledge is further integrated into nursing as research is conducted, disseminated, and used to guide nursing practice, improve healthcare outcomes, and to advance nursing science.
Each human being is unique and complex, with physiological, psychological, spiritual, and socio-cultural developmental characteristics. Individuals respond to their environment differently based on these characteristics, as well as their personal attitudes, values, beliefs, and perceptions. Nurses provide care to the client (individuals, families, communities, and populations) during all of life's phases. Therefore, nursing practice requires rigorous education with focus on provision of evidence-based, holistic and culturally competent care.
Health is a multidimensional state that requires adjustment to environmental stressors and balance of the physiological, psychological, spiritual, and socio-cultural developmental characteristics. It consists of both subjective and objective components and may be viewed differently by health care providers and clients. Health care involves those activities designed to promote, protect, maintain, restore, and support an optimal state of health though the life span.
Teaching and learning are both dynamic and interactive processes of education. Learning is the active, continuous process of acquiring knowledge and skill that brings about actual or potential changes of behavior. It includes both formal and informal experiences. Learning builds on previous experiences. It is facilitated when the goals and purposes of the new knowledge are clear and relevant to the learner. The goals of learning are defined mutually by the learner and the teacher.
Teaching involves using a curriculum that fosters effective communication and knowledge acquisition. In the rapidly changing health care system, new, innovative, and technologically competent curriculum models are designed to meet the needs of a global society, including the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, the state of Missouri, and beyond. Effective teachers guide, direct, mentor, and evaluate learning while encouraging critical thinking, self-direction, creativity, and independence.
Nursing education guides the learner to attain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to practice professional nursing. It is designed to meet the needs of students who have unique and diverse backgrounds. Nursing education best occurs in a non-threatening, supportive environment that fosters student growth and professional development. Preparation for nursing practice includes providing health care experiences to clients from diverse cultural backgrounds, across the life span, and in a variety of settings.
Professional nursing education is a life long endeavor, consisting of formal and continuing educational strategies and should be available to individuals with diverse cultural, experiential, and academic backgrounds. Baccalaureate education prepares the nurse generalist for professional nursing practice. Master's education focuses on the integration of advanced knowledge and skills within a particular practice context to improve the health care of individuals and populations through the provision of nursing care that is scientifically, ethically, and holistically grounded. In addition to a mastery of their specialty content, master's level nurses are critical thinkers who have advanced knowledge and skills in the areas of leadership, informatics, health care policy, and research utilization for evidence based practice.
Doctoral level nurse scientists use theory and implement research methods to improve nursing practice and science. Doctoral level nurse clinicians improve health outcomes through the translation of research into advanced nursing care of patients, families, communities, and populations.
Approved 2009 by Faculty Association