The organizing framework for the nursing curriculum is based on the faculty's belief about HUMANS, HEALTH, NURSING, and SOCIETY, and the interaction of these concepts. The eclectic design is derived from the synthesis of nursing theories and supportive theories from the sciences and humanities.
HUMANS are multi-dimensional, free-willed beings that progress along the developmental continuum. Human biologic, personal, and social systems combine to form the holistic nature of the individual. Through continuous interaction with the environment, individuals experience constant, dynamic states of change. When change leads to disequilibration and/or stress in one system, repercussions occur in other systems that potentially impact health status. In addition to being viewed as individuals, humans are viewed within aggregate populations and subpopulations (i.e., families, groups, communities, and/or societies). By examining aggregates, health-related and illness-related characteristics are identified and distinguished within populations. These findings are analyzed and form the basis for nursing interventions designed for individuals as well as aggregates.
HEALTH is a dynamic state or process that changes over time and varies according to circumstances. Health variations are the result of the human being's relationship to the internal and external environments; it is more than a state of well being. Conditions of freedom and unrestricted choice are essential to health because they allow for expansion of an individual's potential to maximize daily living and increased consciousness about one's situation as it exists in the environments. Nursing recognizes health as a personal commitment to one's patterns of relating to the circumstances; thus health, as a process and an outcome, is central to nursing.
NURSING is both an art and a science that requires the use of critical thinking, communication, therapeutic interventions, and evaluation. The mission of professional nursing is to appraise and enhance health status, health assets, and health potential of humans. The domain of nursing is best described as the delivery of care to individuals, families, groups, communities, and society; the utilization of the nursing process to provide therapeutic nursing interventions; and the evaluation of the achievement of therapeutic outcomes. The professional nurse is expected to function skillfully in a variety of roles including, but not limited to, clinician, educator, leader, change agent, and advocate.
SOCIETY forms the external environment with its associated legal, ethical, and moral parameters as set forth by a diverse, multi-cultural population. American society offers freedom of choice for individuals, implying a societal acceptance that health/optimal health status is both a right and responsibility of individual members. Restructuring within the health care delivery systems forms the context for professional nursing practice and includes a variety of acute care and community-based practice settings. Health care values and standards formed within society may either enhance or impede health status/health resources for individuals, families, groups, or communities.