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Philosophy

The UAMS College of Nursing advances the University’s philosophy and mission through scholarship in teaching, research, and service.  The College of Nursing provides excellent theory-based educational programs for students entering the nursing profession and nurses seeking advanced education.  Because nursing is a research-based discipline, faculty participate in generating, disseminating, and using theory and research findings for education and practice.  Faculty believe that service includes participation in academic, professional, and community organizations, and practice of the discipline.

The nursing curriculum is based on the nursing meta-paradigm of PERSON, ENVIRONMENT, HEALTH, and NURSING.  Additionally, the curriculum is based on the following core concepts: health promotion, human diversity, illness and disease management, communication, critical thinking, professional values/ethics, and role development.

The concept of person includes individuals, families, groups, and communities.  Persons are of intrinsic value and dignity and worthy of respect because of their shared and unique physical, emotional, intellectual, social, cultural, and spiritual characteristics. Each person possesses the inherent right for self-expression and for participation in life to the fullest extent possible based on his/her unique experience and perspective. People are self-determining, each person functioning interdependently with other individuals, families, groups, and communities, joined together because of shared values and needs.

Environment is the interaction of internal and external factors that influence the health of person(s).

Health, as perceived by the person, is the integration of physical, emotional, intellectual, social, cultural, and spiritual well-being that enables the performance deemed necessary and desirable to maintain existence in the environment.  Health is affected throughout the life cycle by the interaction of genetic and environmental factors that include choices about health practices, and by the ability of persons to meet their health care needs and to access health care.

Nursing is an art and a science through which nurses provide caring assistance to persons within society.  Nurses seek to promote, restore, and maintain health, and when death is imminent, to provide support that will allow the person to die with dignity.  Nurses use a systematic process of critical thinking to collect and analyze data, and diagnose, plan, therapeutically intervene, and evaluate outcomes.  Using professional values, ethics, and therapeutic communication, nurses implement this process in a variety of roles and settings in collaboration with consumers and other health professionals.

Nursing education prepares graduates to practice within the established professional guidelines and standards and to engage in continuous role development and revision of knowledge.  The teaching/learning process fosters intellectual and personal growth; stimulates inquiry, critical thinking, and synthesis of knowledge; and helps the individual value and pursue life-long learning.

Baccalaureate nursing education builds upon a liberal arts and science foundation and provides the basis for the practice of professional nursing as a generalist.  Baccalaureate education prepares students to think critically and to make clinical judgments that promote, restore, and maintain health.  The nurse generalist is prepared for a beginning level professional practice that is grounded in current evidence based practice. This practice is carried out in a variety of settings.  Baccalaureate education provides the foundation for master’s study.

Graduate education includes master’s and doctoral study.  Master’s nursing education builds upon the baccalaureate nursing foundation and prepares nurses for specialization in advanced practice roles in a variety of settings.  Master’s education prepares advanced practice nurses to synthesize knowledge regarding health care systems and theoretical, scientific, and clinical knowledge from nursing and other disciplines; and to translate and integrate current evidence into practice.  Master’s education provides the foundation for doctoral study.

Doctoral education at the PhD level prepares nurse scientists to examine health questions pertaining to the theoretical foundation, education, economics, and policy implications associated with nursing education, patient/population care and other health issues. PhD prepared nurse scientists are able to conduct research independently, lead research teams, guide others in their research efforts, publish scholarly papers based on new knowledge and work collaboratively with faculty from other disciplines. The Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) prepares advanced practice registered nurses as scholars in translating evidence based research into clinical practice.  DNP prepared nurses use a blend of clinical organization, economic and leadership skills to impact patient outcomes and manage complex health environments.

Approved by Faculty Assembly January 2013