Appalachian State University Department of Nursing will provide evidence based nursing education in an intellectually stimulating and challenging environment that is designed to prepare the beginning professional nurse with the knowledge and skills needed to practice in diverse settings in a highly complex health care system.
The faculty believe that Nursing is a practice discipline that provides a vital and distinctive service to society through the utilization of principles from nursing, physical, biological, and social sciences to assist individuals, families, groups, and communities to achieve an optimal level of health. The focus is holistic health including caring, health promotion, health maintenance, risk reduction, restoration, and end-of-life care. Professional nurses are those who have received at a minimum the baccalaureate in nursing. Professional nursing care is predicated on effective communication and critical thinking skills, current knowledge for evidence-based practice (EBP), technical and assessment skills, the nursing process, and a code of professional ethics.
Nurses are vital members of the interdisciplinary health team and practice in multiple and diverse environments, and manage environmental factors in order to promote optimal healthy functioning of persons. The overarching three roles of the nurse are: Provider of Care; Designer, Manager, and Coordinator of Care; and Member of a Profession. The nurse as Provider of Care practices from a holistic perspective and serves as an advocate and educator through empowering persons to make informed decisions concerning their health care. In the role of Designer, Manager, and Coordinator of Care, persons are assisted in learning how to obtain, interpret, evaluate, and apply health information from appropriate sources. The nurse as a Member of a Profession exhibits accountability for her or his own practice and a commitment to continued professional development.
The faculty believes that each person is a holistic being who embodies inherent dignity and worth, and the right to self-determination. The focus of nursing care is persons as individual, family, group, and/or community. There is a synergistic relationship among person, nursing, health, and environment. Depending on the context, the term person may be used interchangeably with other terms such as client, patient, and partner.
Health is defined by the perception of each person. Health may be viewed in innumerable ways from the absence of disease to the maximum experience of the richness of life or death. Health involves the totality of body, mind, and spirit, and the way in which humans interact with their environment. Health changes moment to moment and the resulting configurations of what health is is eternally new.
Environment is every factor, internal and external, that provides the context for human life. The internal environment consists of genetic, physical, psychological, spiritual, and social factors. Examples of the external environment encompass all conditions or circumstances in which the person lives including physical, social, and cultural factors as well as toxins, pollutants, weather changes, and numerous other factors. People and their environments are inseparable. The combined influences of the external and internal environments determine the growth and development of persons, their state of health, and ultimately their survival.
The nursing faculty believes that baccalaureate nursing education is the foundation for professional nursing practice and has as its primary goal the preparation of generalists who promote optimal health outcomes in multiple settings and with persons across the lifespan. Subsumed within the nursing generalist preparation are the following three roles: Providers of Care; Designers, Managers, and Coordinators of Care; and Members of a Profession.
While the faculty is committed to appreciating each student’s uniqueness and accommodating each student’s learning needs, the faculty expects students to be responsible for their own learning and to engage with the faculty in a dynamic, interactive, educational process. We believe that education is a mutual endeavor in which students and faculty share, pursue, and generate knowledge, values, attitudes, and skills in an organized setting with planned activities resulting in the desired educational outcomes.
Nursing concepts of inquiry, professionalism, leadership, evidence-based practice, ethics, cultural competence, spirituality, critical thinking, technical competence, and communication are introduced in the “foundations” course and threaded, with increasing complexity, throughout the undergraduate program.
Education is the progressive discovery of knowledge and potentiality. While acquisition of new information, values, and skills occur continuously, formal education in a collegiate setting is focused on a process of intellectual growth. The search for knowledge requires living in ambiguity as values and beliefs are challenged and scholarly endeavors explored. Education is a mutual process between the teacher and the student requiring intentionality and shared responsibility, fostering a spirit of inquiry with the common goal of student learning. A university education teaches students how to think. Education can not be measured in how much a student has committed to memory, or even how much a student knows. Our goal is for students to recognize what they know, do not know, and how to learn what they need to know.
Teaching is a multifaceted art and science. An effective teacher has many roles including instructor, leader, coordinator, facilitator, guide, problem solver, coach, researcher, learner, motivator, and example of excellence. Successful teaching combines expertise in the academic material with pedagogical practices most suitable to the content and student characteristics in a given setting. Nursing faculty are ultimately responsible for selecting course content and for engaging students’ learning through multiple teaching strategies. In addition, nursing faculty must facilitate the development of professional values and behaviors in pre-nursing students.
To learn, students must be curious, open-minded, reflective, strategic, skeptical, and critical thinkers. Learning is an active, ongoing process requiring dedication, time, and energy resulting in a change in the learner’s behavior.
Based on the mission, goals, and philosophy of the ASU BSN program, the program outcomes are as follows:
- Provide holistic nursing care to individuals, families, groups, and communities across the lifespan based on professional nursing standards.
- Engage in evidence-based practice through the utilization of critical thinking skills and state-of-the art knowledge for persons with varying health promotion, health maintenance, health restoration, and end-of-life care needs.
- Participate in formal and informal experiences that promote both personal and professional growth.
- Employ effective communication skills (listening, verbal, nonverbal, and written) with individuals, families, groups, and communities as well as members of the health care team.
- Identify, access, evaluate, and disseminate health information resources for self, colleagues, and individuals, families, groups, and communities.
- Demonstrate leadership skills in coordinating nursing care as well as in delegating and supervising nursing care provided by others.
- Empower persons to function at their highest level of ability through mutual goal-setting, advocacy, and education.
- Fulfill the roles of Provider of Care, Designer, Coordinator and Manager of Care and Member of a Profession.
- Exhibit a patient centered approach that reflects the professional values of altruism, autonomy, human digity, integrity and social justice.
- Adhere to economic, legal, and professional nursing standards in nursing practice.