Nursing Philosophy (Graduate)

The faculty of Cox College has chosen the following concepts to be included in the philosophy:  human beings, society, health, nursing, learning and nursing education.

Human beings are unique holistic individuals with intrinsic value, having the right to be treated with respect and dignity from conception to end of life. Humans influence and are influenced by two interrelated forces, the internal and external environments. The internal environment consists of biological, psychosocial, and spiritual factors, whereas the external environment consists of socio-cultural, political, economical, physical and technological factors.  Humans have rational power and personal values that affect self, others and environment, and have a right to be treated with respect and dignity. Human beings are social beings who constitute groups, with groups forming societies.

Society, characterized by cultural norms, beliefs and mores, defines the rights and responsibilities of its citizens and communities.  Social organization allows procurement of benefits and resources for individuals and groups that might not be otherwise realized.  Social organization addresses distribution of limited resources such as health care seeking to provide the highest benefit for greatest number as an ongoing imperative.

Health is a dynamic state in which the individual is constantly adapting to changes in the internal and external environment. A state of health is viewed as a point existing on a continuum from wellness to death. The meaning of health varies with the perception of each human being. The purpose of the health care delivery system is to assist individuals in achieving their optimal wellness and a state of being, by utilizing a multidisciplinary approach that is sensitive to both environmental resources and constraints.

Nursing is a synergy of art and science. The science of nursing is based on principles and theories of nursing, behavioral, and natural sciences, which embody knowledge, skills and professional values, which are applied in a caring manner. The art of nursing, grounded in the humanities, is exemplified by the characteristics of caring that include commitment, authenticity, advocacy, responsiveness, presence, empowerment and competence. Nurses accept and respect cultural differences and develop skills to provide ethical, compassionate care.
The goals of nursing practice are to promote wellness, prevent illness, restore health and facilitate healing. Nursing process provides the framework for decision making and problem solving. Recipients of nursing care may be individuals, families, groups or communities. Nurses practice within legal, ethical and professional standards in the health care delivery system. A variety of nursing roles and practice settings offer nurses the opportunity to collaborate within a complex system while making a unique contribution. As a vital humanitarian service within society, nurses function in the interrelated roles of provider, manager, leader and research scholar .

Learning is a lifelong process influenced by conditions in the environment. Evidenced by changes in behavior, learning involves development in the cognitive, affective and psychomotor domains. Students are expected to be self-directed, goal-oriented and actively involved in the learning process.  Faculty facilitate the learning process by creating a flexible environment and planning goal-oriented experiences. Respect for individuality, freedom of expression, shared decision making and mutual trust promote reciprocal relationships and create an optimal learning environment. Faculty accept responsibility for acting as role models and stimulating intellectual curiosity, critical thinking, self-awareness and promoting lifelong learning.

Nursing education prepares individuals to perform at various levels of decision making, which range from those based on accepted nursing knowledge, skills and values to those that require a complex organization of these components. Nursing knowledge which is further supported by evidence is foundational to professional nursing and is emphasized at all levels of nursing education.  Each level of nursing education is valued for their contributions and collaborative work to achieve unity of effort.  Faculty value educational mobility and individual choice in educational pathways.

Graduate education in nursing further prepares registered nurses who have professional knowledge and experience  in leadership, advanced practice and  education.  The graduate program builds upon a foundational baccalaureate education by providing opportunities for professional registered nurses to develop expertise in the role of clinical nurse leader (CNL), family nurse practitioner (FNP), or nurse educator (NE).  These advanced practice roles provide a portal for meeting the needs of an evolving health care delivery system.  Core graduate coursework facilitates dialogue within the interrelated context of clinical practice and education.