Faculty Beliefs About Nursing Education
Professional Nursing & The Liberal Arts
Education for professional nursing begins at the baccalaureate level. Baccalaureate nursing is built on a broad knowledge base drawn from the humanities, physical and life sciences, and social and behavioral sciences; this is integrated with the knowledge and theories of nursing and competently applied to the practice of professional nursing.
A liberal arts education fosters the development of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and skill in critical thinking, ethical decision making, and various means of communication—all of which enable students to become competent providers, designers, managers, and coordinators of care. A strong clinical component centered in a variety of settings with diverse populations provides the student with the opportunity to synthesize and apply their broad knowledge base in the practice of nursing care. Personal and professional standards and values, such as caring, altruism, advocacy, autonomy, promotion of human dignity, integrity, and a belief in social justice and the individuals right to self-determination are addressed as a framework for providing professional care.
Throughout the educational experience, the baccalaureate nurse is prepared to function in a collaborative manner in a diverse and dynamic world. The baccalaureate education lays the basic foundation for incorporation of one's self into professional practice through the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, and competencies for on-going personal and professional development.
We believe that teaching and learning are interdependent and lifelong processes. It is the faculty's responsibility to assess individual learning needs and adapt teaching methods accordingly. Further, knowledge is dynamic, highly selective and interpretative; therefore, the focus of learning is on development of cognitive skills such as critical analysis, synthesis, and effective utilization of knowledge rather than simple knowledge acquisition. The student-learner is actively engaged with faculty, peers and others involved in the process of learning. The faculty member, as a professional practitioner and educator, possesses and maintains clinical expertise and competencies which are relevant to the content area being taught. The teaching-learning process involves the critical analysis of existing knowledge, the facilitation of active student learning, and the professional socialization of the student.
Through a nurturing, stimulating environment, student-learners are assisted in the progression from relative dependence to independence/interdependence of practice. The teaching-learning process results in the creation of a competent beginning practitioner who engages in the lifelong pursuit of knowledge and skills acquisition to gain expertise and practice within the boundaries of the profession.