The Critical Link Between Patients and the Health Care System
Professional nurses serve as the critical link between patients and an increasingly complex, technological, and fragmented health care system. Professional nursing practice is steeped in a rich tradition of caring and primarily focuses on health promotion, risk reduction, and interventions designed to collaboratively manage existing health problems. Nursing interventions are both value based and reflect evidence based standards of practice.
Professional nurses are privileged to work intimately with patients of all ages, diverse cultures and beliefs, and vastly varying health needs and self-care capacities. This complex role demands an in-depth understanding of the biologic functioning of human beings, the family and social contexts in which people live and work, and the intricacies and challenges of the health care system that provides care. This understanding requires nurses to acquire a solid foundation in the liberal arts and makes baccalaureate education the minimum educational preparation for professional practice in nursing.
Enhancing Quality of Life
Professional nursing is a humanistic profession that enhances the quality of life of individuals, families, groups and communities. Nursing interventions are grounded in the professional values of altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice and reflect a deep seated commitment to the provision of safe, quality, evidence based, and cost effective care that assists patients to move toward independence in self-care and an optimal degree of health.
Educating Future Nurses
Socialization into the professional role is a major focus of the education experience. Faculty serve as deliberate, thoughtful role models for professional knowledge, attitudes, values and behavior, assisting students to systematically apply knowledge from nursing and other disciplines and identify issues to be tested. Thoughtfully planned learning experiences are used to progressively develop student’s cognitive processes, decision making skills, technologic competencies, collaborative communication abilities and leadership skills. The faculty function as facilitators of this process, but the individual students also plays an active role in the learning process, demonstrating commitment and responsibility for their own learning.