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Philosophy

The faculty of the School of Nursing, in accordance with the mission statement of the University of Louisville, prepare individuals for professional nursing at the generalist and advanced practice levels and for generation of nursing science and knowledge. The faculty contribute to the nursing profession and to meeting the health needs of the metropolitan community, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the nation through teaching, research, and service.

The faculty hold the following beliefs about environment, health, person, nursing, teaching-learning and nursing education.

Environment

Environment is both internal and external to the individual, family, group, aggregate, or community. The environment is composed of varied elements (e.g., physical, economic, political, cultural, social and technological) and is integral to each individual’s quality of life. Society, as a component of the environment, is a diverse social system composed of individuals, families, aggregates, groups, and communities. The purposes of a society are to enculturate, to educate, to promote optimal development, and to protect its members. Members of society influence, and are influenced by, the society in which they live. A democratic society values an environment in which human rights, diverse beliefs, and goals are respected. The rapidly changing and increasingly complex nature of a global society influences all aspects of the environment.

Health

Health is a dynamic state that is influenced by biological, spiritual, psychological, cultural, economic and sociological factors. It is defined by each individual, family, group, aggregate or community and therefore must be viewed from an environmental perspective. Optimal health is the achievement of maximum health potential from the perspective of those being served.

Person

Person is a holistic being, possessing intrinsic worth and dignity with interrelated, inseparable biopsychosocial and spiritual dimensions, the whole being more than the sum of the parts. The person is in constant, mutual interaction with the environment, affecting the environment and being affected by it. Individuals are always in transition and are free agents whose behaviors reflect self-chosen values and ethical decisions. Individuals have the right to make free choices and are responsible for these choices.

Nursing

Nursing as a professional discipline is both an art and a science. The art of nursing emanates from the commitment to utilize nursing expertise to provide empathy, comfort, support and advocacy for those with health concerns. Health is the focus of nursing. The science of nursing is composed of a growing body of theoretical and empirical knowledge. Nursing science, behavioral and natural sciences, the humanities, and the arts provide foundations for critical thinking and actions in professional nursing. Nursing practice directs health promotion, maintenance, restoration, and palliative care. Nursing is enacted through use of communication, assessment, nursing interventions, evaluation, professional behavior, and system management. The practice of nursing is a collaborative process involving nurses, clients, and other members of the health care team.

The teaching-learning process

The teaching-learning process is a collaborative relationship between the teacher and the student with active participation in mutual learning. This process includes the acquisition of knowledge and the sharing of experiences, values, beliefs, and perceptions resulting in the development of personal and professional competency, and accountability. The teaching-learning process contributes to the professional socialization of baccalaureate, masters and doctoral level nurses resulting in development of norms, values, knowledge, skills, and behaviors shared by members of the discipline.

Nursing Education

Nursing education is based on nursing science, behavioral and natural sciences, the humanities, and the arts. The goal is to produce knowledgeable, competent professional nurses who promote the optimal health of individuals, families, groups, aggregates and communities. Students contribute to the development of nursing science. They are self-directed, life-long learners who influence and collaborate in the development of policy and who collaborate with others to promote health and the health care agenda. Graduates are encouraged to view nursing education as the basis for a lifetime commitment to nursing that requires ongoing study, continuing education and professional development.

Baccalaureate education

Baccalaureate education in nursing prepares generalists to function in a variety of settings, assisting individuals, families, groups, aggregates and communities to attain, retain, and/or regain optimal health throughout their lifespan. Baccalaureate graduates use critical thinking to act autonomously and collaboratively with clients and other health team members to promote optimal health. They are educated to use knowledge, theory, and research findings synthesized from nursing science, behavioral and natural sciences, the humanities, knowledge, and the arts to implement the role of the professional nurse. Inherent in the professional role is acceptance of legal and ethical responsibility and accountability for nursing judgments and actions. Baccalaureate nursing education provides a foundation for graduate education in nursing. Graduate education in nursing has an outcome of master-, post-master-, and doctorally-prepared nurses, all of whom make distinct contributions to nursing.

Graduate education

Graduate education resulting in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree is built on the knowledge and competencies acquired in baccalaureate education in nursing and previous nursing experiences. The goal of the master’s program is to prepare professional nurses for advanced nursing roles. Advanced education in nursing science, in behavioral and natural sciences, in ethics and in research are integral to educational development. MSN graduate education provides the knowledge base necessary to engage in advanced clinical practice, critical analysis of research findings to support evidence-based practice toward improving nursing care, and provide a foundation for doctoral education in nursing. Graduate education resulting in a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in nursing prepares nurse scientists to:

  1. generate knowledge, test interventions and evaluate outcomes to reduce risks of illness/disability and promote quality of life,
  2. collaborate with other disciplines to improve the delivery of health care,
  3. assume research, leadership, executive, public policy and/or teaching roles, and
  4. affect health policy through the application of scientific knowledge. The doctoral degree is the terminal degree in nursing.

Revised and Adopted in Faculty Organization Meeting: August 1997

Revised and Adopted in Faculty Organization Meeting: September 22, 2000

Revised and Adopted in Faculty Organization Meeting: May 26, 2006

Reaffirmed in Faculty Organization Meeting: November 6, 2009

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