BSN Program Philosophy

Nursing is a holistic, interpersonal caring process guided by a theoretical base.  The nursing program is designed to prepare graduates at a high level of competency for beginning positions in culturally diverse health care settings.  Graduates will be generalists who can provide nursing care within the context of the nursing process of assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation for actual and potential health needs for individuals, families, groups and communities.  The concepts of critical thinking, life-long learning, and professionalism are interwoven throughout the curriculum.

Critical thinking is the identification and evaluation of evidence to guide decision making.  Critical thinking is foundational to the nursing process.  Students, as beginners in the critical thinking process, learn to apply the steps and concepts that lay the foundation for sound decision making.  Graduates, as critical thinkers, are expected to integrate knowledge from the arts and sciences, nursing theory, and research as well as to act on that knowledge to deliberately and rationally make decisions.

Learning is a continuous life long process and a personal responsibility.  The nursing program endeavors to create a learning environment that is flexible and intellectually stimulating, encourages scholarship, and promotes self-directed learning.  Student learning is built upon an existing knowledge base and is directed toward socialization into the practice of professional nursing and the health sciences.  Graduates are expected to continue their educational process either formally or informally, including graduate study.

A profession is a calling characterized by the continuing pursuit of knowledge, a sense of responsibility for human concerns, preparation through higher education, peer accountability, autonomy, and altruism.  Professionalism is the demonstration of the conduct, aims or qualities that characterize or make a profession.  In nursing, professional role development is the identification and enactment of functions of a professional nurse:  provider, coordinator, and advocate of care.  All professional nurses must display characteristics of leadership and engage in leading and managing activities, either at the bedside or in other positions of responsibility within organizations and communities.  Professional nurses show responsibility for their own behavior and the consequence of that behavior.  They practice according to societal expectations, professional standards of practice, and the legal parameters of licensure.  Students, guided by the nursing process are prepared to function as accountable professionals with the potential to develop within the dynamic role of the nurse.  Graduates are expected to be committed to the profession of nursing and to the promotion of professional nursing standards.


The program graduate will be able to:

  1. Perform health protection and promotion, risk reduction, disease prevention, illness care, rehabilitation, and end of life care as an advocate and advisor within an evidence based framework in a variety of rural settings.
  2. Synthesize knowledge, skills, and technology from the established practice and science of nursing, the biological sciences, and the humanities in the
  3. Demonstrate sensitivity to clients with diverse personal, socio-cultural, and environmental characteristics.
  4. Use effective communication skills and information technology to convey interpersonal and health care information.
  5. Demonstrate activities that promote self-awareness, self-growth, professional role development, ethical accountability, and legal responsibility in the practice of nursing.