Nursing Program Expectations

Nursing Program Expectations

Nursing education will take place within the mainstream of collegiate education and will incorporate the physical and social sciences and the humanities with an emphasis on nursing knowledge and practice.  The goal of nursing education is to prepare critically thinking, skilled nurses who act to promote, maintain, and restore wellness through collaborative partnership with other healthcare professionals, wellness care team members, clients and their families, and the community .(NMCNE, 2009) .

The NMSU-A Nursing Program expects all faculty and all nursing students to make four shifts in their thinking and approach to nursing education:

  1. From a focus on covering decontextualized knowledge to an emphasis on teaching for a sense of salience, situated cognition, and action in particular clinical situations.
  2. From a sharp separation of classroom and clinical teaching to integrative teaching in all settings.
  3. From an emphasis on critical thinking to an emphasis on clinical reasoning and multiple ways of thinking that include critical thinking.
  4. From an emphasis on socialization and role taking to an emphasis on formation (Benner, 2010).

The Nursing faculty is committed to the creation of an educational climate that encourages students to attain their maximum potential and fosters originality, creativity, and intellectual inquiry. (Knowles, 1990).  Therefore, the nursing faculty will provide a progression of instruction and experience to enhance learning by incorporating the three domains of learning: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor.  Learning is facilitated from simple to complex; concrete to abstract, and direction-following to problem-solving . (Benner, 1984).  Attention is paid to individual styles of learning, talents, and the cultural experiences and backgrounds that can have a positive impact on the student’s educational experience.  Both instructor and learner share accountability for learning and the responsibility for facilitating the process with the mutual recognition that differences exist among learners and within the same learner at different times.  However, as an adult learner, the student is expected to take the responsibility for individual learning .(Knowles, 1990).

The nursing program consists of a holistic curriculum organized around life phases (adults, geriatrics, women’s health, childbearing, and pediatrics) and includes alterations in wellness related to the psychological, physical, and transpersonal domains (holism).  Ultimately, the aim of NMSU-A curriculum is to facilitate the nursing student’s caring and effective interaction with the whole person during a time in the life process when the client’s readiness for change has been identified and a change in the level of wellness may occur .(Watson, 1985).

NMSU-A’s Nursing Program transforms students by preparing them to be professional and competent nurses who will meet the current and emerging needs of nursing.

NMSU-A’s Nursing Faculty believe nursing is an art and science dedicated to promoting self-care of individuals and their families. Nursing is defined as “the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual and/or potential health problems” (ANA, 1980). Nursing activities include the utilization of critical thinking and caring in the application of the nursing process in the giving of direct physical and emotional support, as well as the provision of anticipatory guidance and teaching.

The Faculty believes that a graduate of NMSU-A’s Nursing Program is prepared to practice in an entry level professional nursing position. The Faculty believes in the concept of lifelong learning. Therefore, the Faculty subscribes to the belief of career mobility based on the opportunity of individuals to change roles in nursing consistent with the individual’s motivation and capabilities. Students are given guidance towards pursuing further academic degrees in nursing. The Faculty also believes that those individuals who benefit from public education have a corresponding responsibility of service to society.

Program Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the NMSU-A’s Nursing Program, the NMSU-A Nursing Faculty and Clinical Instructors expect that the Graduate Nurse has progressively demonstrated the NLN Core Competencies basic to the practice of Associate Degree Nursing.  It is the expectation that the graduate nurse be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. Integrate knowledge and skills acquired from general education foundation and nursing discipline to assist diverse individuals across the life span to promote, maintain and restore optimum health (Assumptions/Knowledge).
  2. Collect data from diverse individuals across the life span (ASSESSMENT).
  3. Use a clinical decision making process in caring for diverse individuals across the life span with actual and potential alterations in health (CLINICAL DECISION MAKING).
  4. Implement caring interventions for client across the life span in diverse settings that incorporate principles of dignity, diversity, safety and knowledge (CARING Interventions/ BEHAVIORS).
  5. Communicate effectively with the client, significant support persons and  healthcare providers (COMMUNICATION).
  6. Develop, implement, evaluate and modify an individualized teaching plan based on client needs (TEACHING/LEARNING).
  7. Coordinate nursing care for client(s) and groups of clients using management principles (Managing Care/ COORDINATION).
  8. Collaborate effectively with the client, significant support person(s) and health care team to achieve positive outcomes (COLLABORATION).
  9. Practice within the ethical, legal and regulatory frameworks of nursing and the standards of professional nursing practice (PROFESSIONAL BEHAVIORS).

In addition to the Core Competencies identified above, the Graduate Nurse will be expected to demonstrate the following NLN Competencies for the Graduates of the Associates Degree in Nursing:

  1. Advocate for patients and families in ways that promote their self-determination, integrity, and ongoing growth as human beings (Human Flourishing).
  2. Make judgments in practice, substantiated with evidence, that integrate nursing science in the provision of safe, quality care and that promote the health of patients within a family and community context (Nursing Judgment).
  3. Implement one’s role as a nurse in ways that reflect integrity, responsibility, ethical practices, and an evolving identity as a nurse committed to evidence-based practice, caring, advocacy, and safe, quality care for diverse patients within a family and community contest (Professional Identity).
  4. Examine the evidence that underlies clinical nursing practice to challenge the status quo, question underlying assumptions, and offer new insights to improve the quality of care for patients, families, and communities (Spirit of Inquiry).