Philosophy Statement

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Home   Mission, Vision, Philosophy, and Framework                    

Philosophy Statement Subsection: 2.2
Section 2.0 - Mission, Vision, Philosophy, and Framework Originating Date: March 1981
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Executive Council
Revised: January 1992
Revised: April 1998
Revised: April 2008
Revised: November 2009
Revised: December 2012

The nursing metaparadigm (human being, health, environment, and nursing) guides students and faculty in teaching and learning at all levels of nursing education at the College of Nursing.

Human being

Human beings are holistic individuals with physiologic, psychosocial (cognitive/mental, emotional, behavioral, social), developmental, and spiritual dimensions. All human beings have inherent worth, have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, and are embedded in a milieu that includes culture and society.


Health is a dynamic state of well-being in each dimension of the human being, and extends to families and communities. Well-being is demonstrated by functioning which is effective in achieving life course goals to the satisfaction of the individual, family, or community. Health is affected by complex interrelationships of factors (health determinants) such as the social and economic environment, individual characteristics, and behavior.


The environment is the milieu within which human beings exist and nurses provide care. The external environment includes systems of health care, culture, family and community, and the physical environment in which people live. The internal environment is expressed through the multiple dimensions of the human being. Internal and external environments influence well-being across the life course of individuals, families, groups, and communities.


Nursing is a practice discipline and a caring profession. Nurses use best scientific evidence, provider expertise, and patient values to provide safe, high quality, effective, efficient, timely, equitable, and patient-centered care. Nurses provide care through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention to individuals, families and communities that addresses the multiple dimensions of the human being with the goal of improving well-being. Nurses promote health using knowledge, critical reasoning, clinical judgment, skills, experience, and leadership. Nurses have a responsibility for ethical awareness in the social, political, legal, ecological and economic arenas and serve as advocates for patient health.

Nursing Education

A liberal education is the foundation of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes essential for the practice of nursing; the liberal education prepares nurses to participate in a global community. Nursing education uses active and reflective learning, clinical practice, scientific inquiry, service, technology, informatics, and inter-professional partnerships to prepare nurses to practice.

Students and faculty possess different knowledge, skills, experiences, and learning styles. Both educators and students are responsible for active engagement as partners in learning. Through this partnership, students acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes and skills necessary for life-long learning. Student centered learning is central to the creation of a productive, effective learning community. The role of teacher as manager of the learning environment is to facilitate and promote learning. The practice of teaching nursing is a scholarly endeavor.

Professional nursing education at the baccalaureate level prepares graduates for practice as generalists who provide leadership in the provision of patient-centered care at the micro-system level. Master’s education in nursing prepares nurses for advanced practice roles and leadership in the provision of care to populations and the development, monitoring, and evaluation of systems of care delivery. Doctoral education in nursing prepares nurses for leadership roles in the development and application of nursing knowledge in the health care system. The PhD program prepares nurse scientists to discover knowledge to improve health. Nurse scientists improve the health of human beings through the development, testing, and dissemination of nursing science. Nurses with Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees are clinical scholars who are prepared to translate research into evidence-based clinical practice using informatics and quality improvement models, and to provide organizational level leadership for improved performance within systems. All nurses should be prepared to understand and work to promote well-being and ameliorate health care problems within their scope of practice at local, state, national, and global levels.