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  Newark Undergraduate Catalog 2006-2008 College of Nursing Academic Program Philosophy  


The philosophy of Rutgers' College of Nursing reflects the beliefs of the faculty and gives direction to the curricula of the baccalaureate, the master's, and the doctoral nursing programs, as well as to the continuing education and educational opportunity fund programs. The college philosophy and goals are consistent with its mission statement. The faculty has a set of beliefs regarding the metaparadigm concepts of the discipline: humans, the environment, health, and nursing. These beliefs as well as those regarding the learning process, provide the foundation for the organizing framework for the undergraduate and graduate curricula.

Humans are holistic beings whose totality is expressed through biological, psychological, cultural, and spiritual dimensions. As sentient, thinking, and acting beings, humans manifest increasingly complex and diverse behaviors as they move through the life span. Humans progress through discernible phases of development, each having its own set of tasks, needs, and health care requirements. As humans progress through the life span, they manifest varying levels of health and illness, some of which relate to their phase of development. Humans function in society as individuals, families, groups, communities, and organizations and are in constant interaction with their environment.

The environment is broadly defined as having physical, social, cultural, economic, and political dimensions. These dimensions interact with humans as they progress through the life span and are reflected in their state of health.

Health is a dynamic physical, mental, and social phenomenon that emerges from human-environment interactions. Health is evaluated by the individual's subjective feelings of well-being and objectively by biobehavioral measures and standards. Health needs are viewed within a developmental context and are met through health promotion, risk reduction, and illness and symptom management.

Nursing is an art and a science. Nursing is expressed as an art committed to promoting, maintaining, and restoring the health of humans across the life span through culturally sensitive care to diverse populations within the context of their environment. Nursing's unique perspective of humans, their environment, and their health provides the foundation for the continuing development of nursing science. Nursing science is an organized body of knowledge derived from research and scientific methods. It describes, explains, and predicts phenomena related to the metaparadigm concepts of nursing and provides the foundation for basic and advanced nursing practice. Nursing history and philosophic inquiry contribute to nursing knowledge. The science of nursing is applied through creative, therapeutic modalities of care in a variety of settings. Nursing's focus of health care is optimization of health through health promotion, risk reduction, and illness and symptom management. Health maintenance and optimum wellness are the desired outcomes of care.

Health care should be humanistic, accessible, affordable, cost-effective, ethical, and accountable to the changing health demands of society. Health care services require a comprehensive and coordinated interdisciplinary approach. Nurses function independently and collaboratively in a variety of roles and with other health care professionals in a wide array of human service organizations and independent practice settings. Nurses encourage individuals to assume more responsibility for their health through the promotion of healthy lifestyles and informed decision making.

Learning is the acquisition of knowledge, cognitive skills, values, and beliefs that move the student forward on the learner maturity continuum. Self-motivation, self-awareness, and open communication are intrinsic to the learning process. Learning occurs through a process of inquiry and experience and builds on prior knowledge and skills. Dynamic interactions that occur between and among students and faculty enhance learning. The outcome of this learning process is a graduate who is knowledgeable and compassionate and able to integrate and apply nursing knowledge competently for the betterment of the client being served.

The faculty believes that a baccalaureate education prepares the student to function as an autonomous professional, qualified to practice using the latest knowledge, skills, and ethics. Students are prepared as generalists for practice in a variety of health care settings with ethical and cultural sensitivity for diverse population groups. The graduate possesses a broad knowledge base and skills in clinical reasoning, judgment, and leadership, which provide a solid base for personal and professional growth and for advanced education in nursing.

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