Nursing is viewed as both an art and a science, reflecting upon the concepts of the nursing metaparadigm. Nursing is an applied discipline which expresses itself in practice, and has its foundation rooted in scientific/empirical knowledge, theory, and research. Nursing is also expressed as a caring, therapeutic and teaching discipline.
The goal of nursing is optimum client wellness, and the maximum level of functioning. The School of Nursing curriculum reflects the belief that the generalist nurse must function in an independent role in many situations and is responsible for independent decisions and actions. Faculty in the School of Nursing encourage the use of the science-based and goal directed nursing process as a framework for critical thinking and decision making to produce therapeutic nursing interventions. The nursing interventions are evidence-based and stem from their core knowledge. The professional nurse must appreciate the role of informatics-both acquisitions of knowledge, as well as, timely electronic record keeping.
Theoretical and empirical knowledge from nursing, biological, social sciences, and the humanities are synthesized in utilization of the nursing process (an evidence-based series of activities employed by the nurse in an on-going effort toward achieving desired outcomes for humans, environment and health). The steps of the nursing process include assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
The therapeutic component of nursing is realized by providing health care or knowledge of health care practices to enhance ones level of wellness. The teaching component of nursing includes providing information to make health care decisions, acquire skills, and to change behavior. When it is not possible to promote wellness, nursing seeks to enable individuals to adjust to illness and/or relieve suffering. When it is not possible to promote a healthy life, nursing seeks to enable individuals to adjust to the loss and a peaceful death. The nurse must assume a leadership role as she/he designs nursing systems to meet their patients overt and covert health care needs. The nurse must collaborate with the multi-disciplinary health care teams which are an innate part of professionalism. The nurse must also understand the role of health care policy as it relates to patient care as well as having an appreciation for the health care needs from a global perspective.