Philosophy

The philosophy of the Department of Nursing is in agreement with that of the University. As such, we believe nursing is concerned with the well being of the total person. Each faculty member, student and patient is an integrated, unique person, created in God’s image, and endowed by God with dignity and worth. The entry of sin into the world has placed a constraint on the individual’s total well being which can only be remedied by the power and love of God through faith in Jesus Christ. God has created all persons with the potential for dynamic growth and development throughout their lives, and with the right to make decisions which influence their well being. All persons require social interaction to achieve and maintain well being. The family within the context of its cultural environment is the fundamental unit through which the socialization process is advanced.

We believe that caring, as exemplified in the life of Jesus Christ, is the essence of nursing. The focus of nursing activity is the three client systems (personal, interpersonal and community) and the dynamic interaction between them within the context of their environment. These three systems also are interacting constantly with internal and external stressors which may affect the integrity of the systems. It is our view that the purpose of nursing is to support and promote the processes that facilitate the systems’ abilities to achieve and maintain optimal adaptation. This is accomplished through use of the nursing process which is ongoing and involves assessing, diagnosing, planning, implementing, and evaluating. Effective use of this process enables the nurse to work with client systems across the health-illness continuum.

Nursing is a dynamic profession based on a growing body of evidence-based knowledge. It is our belief that Biblical studies, together with the humanities, arts and sciences, are fundamental to the development of nursing’s own unique body of knowledge. Nursing is both art and science; its uniqueness does not reside in any specific component of theory or action, but can be found only in the whole.

As one of the major health care professions, we believe nursing is accountable to God and to society for provision of quality health care services in a broad variety of settings. Baccalaureate nurses endeavor to meet this responsibility through involvement in leadership, inter-professional collaboration, education, and research utilization activities to improve clinical practice, influence health care policies, and further the development of nursing science.

In a rapidly changing world, adequate and equitable delivery of health care is a critical challenge. We believe that equal access to health care services is the right of every individual in society. Through its unique contribution, nursing can and must be an effective social force in promoting the quality and availability of health care services for all persons. To effect positive changes nurses must participate in all aspects of the health care delivery system including: (1) evaluating the adequacy of health care services for the community; (2) projecting needs for additional or new services; and (3) taking appropriate action to insure accessibility of services. This requires nursing involvement with community action groups and with local and national legislative processes.

We believe initial preparation of professional nurses to meet the health care needs of society is best accomplished through the learning acquired in baccalaureate education. As nurse educators it is our responsibility to provide an environment which facilitates the learning necessary to prepare graduates for professional practice and advanced professional education.

As Christian educators we value the distinctive cultural, ethnic, and social backgrounds of each person and recognize that this diversity enriches our learning environment. It is the role of the educator to provide a learning climate of Christian caring which: (1) enhances students’ abilities to use their own unique learning styles effectively; (2) promotes students’ accomplishment of personal goals; and (3) facilitates students’ utilization of resources and personal support systems to enhance their ability to meet their individual learning needs.

It is our belief that the goal of learning is behavioral change in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains. Learning is a purposeful, dynamic process and involves changes in knowledge, skills, attitudes, values and / or beliefs. Learning occurs more efficiently, is more pervasive and more enduring when the learner actively participates in all phases of the learning process. Previous experience provides the foundation for current learning. Learning is facilitated when experiences move from the familiar to the unfamiliar and from simple to complex. Learning which emphasizes discovery of organizing principles rather than specific content facilitates the transfer of learning to novel situations.

We believe critical thinking, creative thinking, and clinical reasoning are essential for the professional nurse. Development of these skills is fostered in a supportive learning environment which (1) provides opportunity for involvement in critical thinking and problem solving throughout the learning process; (2) stimulates the processes of inquiry and discovery; (3) provides exposure to a variety of problems in a variety of settings; (4) encourages maturation of the ability to utilize internal and external evaluative feedback; and (5) promotes increasing self-direction and independence.

The educator as a role model enhances the learning process by demonstrating Christian caring and the skills of inquiry and discovery. Acting as an expert learner, facilitator, and resource person, the educator guides the student learner through the educational experience. We believe that education is a life-long process which facilitates the ongoing development of the learner’s potentialities for continued growth as a person, citizen, and professional nurse.