Mission & Philosophy

Letter R nurses Letter N nurses

 

Mission Statement

The mission of the Department of Nursing is to provide nursing education to a diverse student population consistent with the mission of Albany State University (ASU). The ASU Department of Nursing offers ASN, BSN, and MSN degrees as well as Post-Master’s Certifications. The Department of Nursing seeks to foster the growth and development of the region, state, and nation through teaching, research, quality health care delivery, and public service. In collaboration with academic institutions, health care institutions, and state agencies, the Department of Nursing is committed to developing and enhancing programs and services to improve the health and quality of life of the citizens of southwest Georgia.

The Department of Nursing prepares safe, competent, effective, and efficient nurses to provide or facilitate health care to diverse populations and underserved communities. Integral to this mission is a supportive and diverse faculty delivering comprehensive and technologically enhanced didactic and experiential learning activities. These learning activities support the holistic development of students as learners, leaders, and contributing members of society who embody the ideals of professional nursing in a global society. The completion of these learning activities will prepare the students for success on the national licensing (NCLEX-RN) or certification examination(s), demonstrating competency in the delivery of evidence based nursing care.

Statement of Philosophy

The Department of Nursing is committed to the overall mission of Albany State University. In addition to graduating a diverse student body in nursing, we are proud to offer the Associate, Bachelor, and Master of Science in Nursing degree programs. The associate and baccalaureate programs prepare the nurse generalist for entry into professional nursing practice. The master's degree prepares the graduate for advanced practice as a nurse practitioner or a leader in nursing education. The goal of our programs in general is to increase the number of nursing graduates who are adequately prepared to enter the healthcare workforce and provide holistic, culturally-competent care, thereby decreasing the shortage that the nation, in general, and the South, in particular, currently face.

The faculty of the Department of Nursing believes that the primary concern of nursing is meeting the health needs of people, families, and communities. Thus, education for nursing students should be centered around patient care, patient education, collaboration, professionalism, safety, and evidence-based practice. Therefore, the philosophy reflects the faculty conceptualization of the interrelatedness of person(s), health, environment, and nursing. The philosophy further explicates our beliefs regarding teaching-learning and nursing education on the associate, baccalaureate, and master's levels.

PERSON

A person is viewed as a unique, holistic being in a continuous state of becoming, who operates as an open system, behaves as an integrated whole, and utilizes adaptive mechanisms in responding to needs. These needs include both internal and external stressors, which result in behavioral and physiological changes throughout the life span.

A person exists within the context of culture and groups in local and global communities. Each person has the potential for management, self-direction, and self-fulfillment. This potential influences a person's growth process, individual communicative abilities, and self-care behavior. Nursing respects the rights and self-care abilities of the individual as an active participant in health care.

HEALTH

Health is a state of being and is viewed as a dynamic process, rather than an absolute state. This process ranges across the lifespan, from wellness to illness or death. The interactive behaviors, which the person utilizes in response to stressors in the internal and external environment, become major determinants of her/his level of wellness. The faculty's view of health incorporates the wellbeing of the individual, family, community, and society as a whole. Nursing has the responsibility to advocate for quality health care for all.

ENVIRONMENT

The environment is both internal and external, and involves all factors and/or influences surrounding the person. The internal environment consists of all forces or interactive influences contained solely within the person. The external environment consists of all forces or interactive influences existing outside the person including family, socio-cultural, political and community variables. Both the internal and external environments influence each other. Responses of the person originate from the internal environment. The internal environment is constantly challenged to meet environmental demands as well as maintain integrity and optimal health. We believe, as Florence Nightingale stated, that the purpose of nursing is to put the patient in the best condition for nature to restore or to preserve health (Nightingale, 1860).

NURSING

Nursing is a professional practice discipline that merges art and science for the purpose of assisting others in meeting their health needs. Nursing involves a process that promotes health and wellness and prevents illness. Nursing provides care by assisting individuals to meet health needs and/or experience a peaceful death.

Nurses operationalize their roles through the processes of communicating, providing care, decision making, problem solving, scientific inquiry, teaching, managing and acting as change agents and/or as patient advocates. The efficacy of nursing is enhanced by nurses acting as dynamic forces in influencing and shaping policies that affect the health care of diverse client systems and communities.

TEACHING-LEARNING

Teaching involves the use of innovative strategies and principles of andragogy to facilitate students in their acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. The core curriculum provides a foundation for the study of nursing concepts. Global learning of the core nursing concepts of person, health, environment, and nursing is fostered through a broad-based curriculum, diverse University and community activities, and the expanding use of technology.

Education involves the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that assist individuals to improve themselves and society. Learning, the product of education, is a complex developmental process that results in a change in the behavior of the individual. Learning is affected by perception, motivation, experience, orientation, and educational environment. It varies in rate and style. Insightful, reflective learning is viewed as most valuable in assisting students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to practice nursing effectively. Learning objectives go from simple to complex throughout the teaching and learning experience.

Learning is a lifelong process that reflects the individual's integration of physical, intellectual, emotional, and interpersonal experiences. The learner is an active, inquisitive being. Learning is a cooperative process whereby instructors facilitate and provide appropriate, varied theoretical, professional, pragmatic learning situations and applications. The learner has the opportunity to develop the ability needed to respond to diverse people and situations.

NURSING EDUCATION

Nursing education is that process which fosters acquisition of nursing knowledge, skills, values, and effective leadership. Professional nursing education enables graduates to synthesize knowledge, skill, and values needed to make responsible judgments in the management of varied and sometimes complex nursing problems. Nursing education strategies are reflective of evidenced based practice that encompasses the use of research, technology, critical thinking and the work-based paradigm. Efforts to promote students' retention through early socialization to the nursing role are addressed through academic advisement, counseling, dynamic, creative, and relevant curricula, and utilization of advanced technology.

Faculty serve as facilitators of learning and role models of professionalism and scholarship. The faculty is entrusted with the development and implementation of curricula which includes the selection of educational experiences and teaching strategies that ensure the student opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills related to practice and professional growth. Patricia Benner principals of novice to expert are utilized throughout each program to ensure that the student provides the best care whether they are undergraduate students or graduate students. Students are prepared to practice with clients of diverse cultural, spiritual, socioeconomic and educational backgrounds across the life span. The adult learning theory (andragogy) is utilized in teaching our adult learners.

The basic preparation for professional nursing practice is the associate and baccalaureate level. Undergraduate nursing education prepares the nurse to function as a generalist utilizing the triad of evidenced based practice, teaching, and practice in providing nursing care in traditional and nontraditional settings. The professional nurse is broadly prepared to assume responsibilities as a leader, client advocate, change agent, health care provider, health educator, and consumer of research.

Master's education prepares a nurse for advanced nursing practice roles and is based on the creative application of knowledge, skills, and processes from the behavioral and natural sciences, nursing, and humanities. The master's program extends the theoretical foundations of nursing practice. It is designed to prepare an individual who is highly knowledgeable in advanced clinical nursing and who is able to make a significant contribution to health care. Nurses at the master's level are prepared to lead and manage collaborative efforts with physicians and other members of the health care team to conduct research and to improve practice environments. While the generalist functions as care giver, manager of client care, health care advocate, and change agent, the masters prepared nurse assumes advanced practice roles to the full extent of their education and training.

The schema on page 18 of the undergraduate handbook is a reflection of our philosophy and includes the nursing values we embrace. The revised schema is based on an overall systems theory. The framework is representative of synthesis of compatible beliefs about the person, environment, nursing, teaching and learning and nursing education. The foundation of the program (critical thinking and the nursing process form the bases of the educational process which represents the systematic process used in planning and providing care to clients at the associate & baccalaureate (generalist) and graduate (advance practice) level. The overriding principle is that nursing education prepares the learner to serve as a lever supporting the client or supporting the patient/client directly, in maintaining balance on the health-illness continuum as the patient/client responds to the internal and external forces across the life span. The program values are threads woven throughout the curriculum as illustrated in the framework.