Organizing Framework

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Organizing Framework Subsection: 2.3
Section 2.0 - Mission, Vision, Philosophy, and Framework Originating Date: February 1981
Responsible Reviewing Agency:
Undergraduate Curriculum Committee;
Professional Graduate Nursing Affairs Council;
PhD Affairs Council;
General Faculty Organization

Final Approving Agency
Executive Council
Revised: April 1992
Revised: April 1998
Revised: April 2008
Revised: November 2009
Reviewed: October 2012
Revised: April 2018 (changes)
Revised: August 2018 (changes)

Organizing Framework

The organizing framework illustrates the relationships between human beings and their health, the environment and professional nursing. The framework represents the UNMC College of Nursing's view of nursing and the ways baccalaureate and graduate nursing faculty and students work together to enable students to enter into and advance the profession of nursing.

A liberal education is the foundation of undergraduate study in nursing. It includes course work in the arts, sciences, and humanities, all of which support appropriate and ethical clinical decision-making, understanding of the reasoning behind policies and standards, and accepting responsibility for continued development of self and the discipline of nursing. A foundation in liberal education provides a broad understanding and appreciation of the multiple dimensions and diversity of human beings.

Each human being is a multidimensional individual who is unique, has intrinsic value and is worthy of respect. Patients (individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations) are human beings who interact with nurses, students, and faculty in the process of receiving patient-centered care. Working together, nursing faculty and students develop continuously as professional nurses and utilize their knowledge to assist patients to function to their optimal level of well-being in each of the multiple dimensions.

Health, as a dynamic and multi-dimensional state of well-being, is influenced by internal and external environments. The internal environment can be understood through multiple dimensions of humans (physiologic/biologic, genetic, developmental, behavioral, psychological, and spiritual). The external environment can be understood through concepts that include the social dimension of individuals, families, groups, and communities and other health determinants (cultural, economic, life style) that affect well-being.

The role of the professional nurse is to facilitate well-being through care that considers the multiple dimensions and health determinants to improve function (actual and perceived) in human beings. Professional nursing includes baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorally-prepared nurses engaged in professional partnerships to provide evidence-based, holistic, patient-centered care.

Critical to the provision of high quality, safe health care are intra- and inter-professional partnerships, informatics, scholarship and service. Intra- and inter-professional partnerships are characterized by teamwork, collaboration, and communication within and between nurses and members of the other health professions to improve patient care through effective communication, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, informatics, scholarship, and service. Evidence-based practice is care that integrates the best evidence with clinical expertise and patient values for optimum care. Quality care is safe, effective, timely, efficient, equitable and patient centered. Safety is the foundation upon which all other aspects of quality care are built: prevention of harm to patients and freedom from accidental or preventable injuries produced by health care. Informatics involves information management and technology to support education, decision making, communication, best practice and research. Scholarship involves identification of practice issues and enhances evidence development and interpretation, knowledge application, outcome evaluation, and generation, translation and dissemination of research through science. Service involves cultural sensitivity, competent nursing practice, advocacy and demonstration of the professional values of altruism, autonomy, dignity, integrity and social justice. Through reflection, service promotes well-being and professional development of the nurse.

Nurses function in a variety of roles and diverse settings. Nurses demonstrate leadership, ethical decision making, critical thinking, and clinical decision-making to facilitate well-being in individuals, families, groups, populations, and communities to improve health systems.

The UNMC College of Nursing prepares baccalaureate graduates by offering an upper division, concept-based curriculum that uses active and learner-centered strategies to develop strong skills in leadership, critical thinking, clinical decision-making, and a commitment to life-long learning.

The curriculum is organized around four guiding principles:

  1. diverse settings,
  2. levels of prevention (primary, secondary, tertiary),
  3. life course, and
  4. professional nursing knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs).

Curricular concepts are organized into two major categories: patient-centered care concepts and leadership/health care delivery concepts. Concepts are taught using selected exemplars. Exemplars represent important spectra of conditions and situations representative of professional nursing practice and are selected based on multiple criteria which include prevalence, morbidity, mortality, and the ability to illustrate one or more curriculum concepts.

The baccalaureate program provides a foundation for graduate education. The master’s program prepares nurses who demonstrate skills and expertise based upon an expanded body of knowledge, using critical thinking and sound clinical judgment. These nurses’ work is focused to achieve optimal patient, family, group, and system outcomes. Master’s prepared nurses also demonstrate leadership and scholarship. They exemplify mastery level performance of the essential core competencies specified by the appropriate credentialing body for the specialty area. These core competencies facilitate the development of effective and therapeutic relationships with patients, families, and inter-professional colleagues within the health care system. Graduates assume nursing leadership and practice positions to improve the health of the citizens of Nebraska and the region.

The College of Nursing offers two doctoral level degrees. The PhD in Nursing program prepares graduates who are nurse scientists and transformational leaders in the discovery of knowledge to improve health and advance the profession of nursing. Nurse scientists generate, test and disseminate knowledge to improve patient care, health systems, nursing education, and health policy. The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) graduate is prepared for the highest level of nursing leadership and practice within organizations and systems, to improve health care delivery and patient outcomes at all levels and for diverse populations. These graduates employ nursing knowledge and ensure it is applied and embedded in patient care.