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Philosophy of Nursing

Introduction: The philosophy of the programs of nursing at Lindenwood University upholds the values and expectations of the larger university and is consistent with the standards for professional nursing. A liberal arts education provides the foundation for a nursing program that maintains high academic standards in order to prepare students to practice wholistic, high quality nursing care in an increasingly complex and rapidly changing healthcare environment.  Lindenwood University’s nursing programs are committed to offering innovative, value centered educational programs that emphasize caring, clinical reasoning, and clinical judgment in preparation for professional nursing practice.

Deb Mercier and Jen Taylor

School of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences
faculty members Debbie Mercier (left), and Jen Taylor.

Person: The roots of nursing are grounded in care and service to human beings defined broadly as individuals, families, communities, and populations encountered in a variety of settings. The nursing faculty believes that all persons possess intrinsic worth, dignity, and integrity and supports self-determination particularly regarding choices of health and environment.  Each person has unique emotional, psychological, spiritual, and social attributes and responds differently to the environment based on those attributes. The professional nurse becomes a purposeful agent to assist the individual(s) to interact effectively with the environment.

Health: Health is a dynamic, complex state of well-being viewed holistically and globally, encompassing individuals, families, communities, and populations with varying degrees of health.  Health includes both objective and subjective components and is influenced by the perceptions of the individual.  Health includes the promotion of wellness as well as the prevention and treatment of illness.

Nursing:  As a member of the profession, the nurse adopts an ecological view of nursing practice that incorporates health, policy, and environment. Nurses are responsible and accountable for the moral, ethical, legal, and scientific dimensions of practice.  Nursing is a profession and a discipline that is concerned with the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health, prevention of illness, and compassionate care of the dying. The professional nurse respectfully recognizes individual differences and the importance of these differences in maintaining or achieving health and exhibiting optimal responses to life experiences.  The nurse uses clinical reasoning and clinical judgment to design, manage, coordinate, and provide safe, quality care.  Caring is an inherent characteristic of nursing. Caring is demonstrated through compassionate concern to protect and enhance the human dignity of all people. Caring is cultivated and refined through promoting health, easing suffering, and nurturing the growth of others.  Nurses collaborate with individuals, families, communities, and other healthcare professionals to achieve a shared vision for optimal healthcare and make educated healthcare decisions.

Within the SONAHS philosophy of nursing, we recognize the essential roles and responsibilities of professional nursing as caregiver, advocate, educator, communicator/collaborator, researcher, and manager/leader.  The nurse as caregiver promotes, maintains, and restores health through the nursing process of assessment, planning, intervention, and evaluation of nursing care 1, 2, 3.  The nurse as advocate is essential to supporting personal autonomy and protecting human and legal rights in the delivery of healthcare 1, 2, 3.  The nurse as educator focuses on empowering individuals, families, communities, and populations with knowledge through formal and informal learning 1, 2, 3.  The nurse as communicator and collaborator facilitates connections with all members of the health care team and utilizes the nurse-client relationship to ensure personal voice of the recipient of care within all healthcare decisions 1, 2, 3.  The nurse as researcher supports the science of the profession of nursing through discovery of nursing knowledge and application, implementation, and evaluation of evidence based nursing practice 1, 2.  The nurse as leader and manager motivates and inspires as an integral member of the interprofessional healthcare team and takes a leadership role in organizing and prioritizing healthcare delivery 1, 2, 3.  In addition to the essential roles and responsibilities, the professional nurse is accountable to the healthcare ethics and values of advocacy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice, and fidelity.

Nursing GroupTeaching/ Learning: The goal of education is to produce a nurse who is a self-assured, competent, caring professional. Learning is seen as a collaborative endeavor between the learner and the faculty.  Effective learning experiences occur in a non-threatening, nurturing environment.  Learning is facilitated through interaction and the application of knowledge, skills, and evidence into the practice environment. Learning occurs through engagement, scholarly inquiry, clinical excellence, and the socialization of students into the caring practice of professional nursing.  Faculty members serve as facilitators and provide a structure within which the learner takes responsibility for learning. The student is taught to practice nursing in an evolving complex healthcare environment, provide leadership to promote health among culturally diverse people, and promote clinical excellence through evidence-based practice, ethical decision making, leadership skills, clinical reasoning, clinical judgment, life-long learning, and the independent and interdisciplinary pursuit of high quality healthcare.  The nursing faculty makes visible the connection between the foundation of liberal arts and sciences and professional nursing practice. Faculty members also serve as mentors and role models in classroom and clinical areas.  

1 - Blais, K. & Hayes, J.  (2011).  Professional nursing practice: Concepts and perspectives (6th Ed.).  Pearson:  Upper Saddle River, NJ.
2 - Creasia, J. & Friberg, E.  (2011).  Conceptual foundations, The bridge to professional nursing practice (5th Ed.).  Mosby Elsevier: St. Louis, MO.
3 - Potter, A. & Perry, A.  (2009).  Fundamentals of nursing (7th Ed.). Mosby Elsevier: St. Louis, MO

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