Nursing Department Mission Statement and Phil.
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The Nursing Department Mission
The Nursing Department as an integral part of Rockford University, holds a mission and philosophy that is consistent with the mission and beliefs of the University.  The mission of the Rockford University baccalaureate nursing program is to prepare registered professional nurses to provide quality nursing care to individuals, families, groups and communities with diverse health needs. The graduate will attain the knowledge, skills, and values necessary for professional nursing practice by integrating liberal arts learning and professional nursing education.

Philosophy of Nursing
We, the nursing faculty of the Department of Nursing, participate in the mission of Rockford University. Education for professional nursing is achieved through a curriculum that unifies the essential phenomena of interest in nursing: the concepts of nursing, health, person and environment.

We believe that nursing is an art and a science concerned with the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of optimal health. Clients of nursing are individuals, families, groups, or communities with health-related concerns. We believe that nursing is a complex interaction with clients requiring flexibility, creativity, expert communication, critical thinking, and competence in therapeutic interventions. We embrace the skills, values, ethics and standards of practice espoused by the nursing profession. We believe that competent nursing practice occurs when professional nurses demonstrate the values and ethics of the profession in their roles as caregiver, communicator, critical thinker, diagnostician, leader, manager, and teacher. We believe that nursing exists to serve society and that nursing and society share accountability and responsibility for providing quality health care to all. We believe that nursing best serves the public when nurses are politically active and practice collaboratively in a variety of roles with clients and other health care providers.

We believe that health is a resource for living that changes over time in response to influences such as personal biology, lifestyle, the environment, and the health care system. Health is defined in various ways by laypersons and health care providers. A broad knowledge of health gives the nurse flexibility when assisting others with health issues and concerns.

We believe that each person is a unique, complex, and holistic being with biophysical, psychological, spiritual, and socio-cultural dimensions. People develop behavioral patterns to meet their needs and wants. These behavioral patterns may enhance or diminish health. People have freedom of choice and are accountable for their health care decisions but many clients need help in navigating the health care system. We recognize that personal decision-making about health is complex and dependent on many variables within and surrounding the individual person. We value the inherent worth and dignity of each person and believe that excellent nursing requires a working partnership with clients.

We believe that the environment is everything that surrounds a person including all conditions circumstances and resources. Society is a dimension of the environment that strongly influences the health resources of its people. Professional nursing is a health resource and takes place within the context of society. People interact with their environments and are strongly influenced by variables that promote and/or undermine health. We believe that an increasingly important aspect of nursing practice is the examination of the relationship between the environment and client health. Nurses then intervene to empower clients to either adapt to or change their environment. Nurses also partner with others in society to create a more healthful environment for all.

We believe that education at its best is an interactive process by which students and teachers teach and learn from each other in an atmosphere of mutual respect and caring. We believe that both the process and content of our educational program are critically important for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, values, and competencies necessary for quality nursing practice. Accepting responsibility for nurturing ones own learning and for helping others learn is essential for the life-long personal growth and professional development of teachers and students.

The organizing framework for the Rockford University Department of Nursing depicts a curriculum centered on educating graduate professional nurses with knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes necessary for competent, ethical nursing practice. The focus of the curriculum is to develop the seven competencies of caregiver, critical thinker, communicator, diagnostician, leader, manager, and teacher in each unique graduate. Graduates learn to enact these competencies by integrating the four phenomena of interest to nursing i.e., the concepts of environment, health, nursing and person. The scope of nursing practice is broad in relation to these phenomena. Nurses care for individuals, families, groups, and populations to promote, maintain, and restore health. Concern for the environment extends from the home to the world. Students begin as novices and graduate as advanced beginners with the potential to become nurse experts. Our graduates develop the flexibility and creativity needed to adapt their expression of the seven competencies to the context of care. This adaptation is illustrated by the motif of the nurse as a pinwheel responding to movement within the context of care. The context of care always involves nurses concerned about the health of persons within an environment. Rockford University with its unique mission and vision as a liberal arts institution provides a rich learning environment to students within the Department of Nursing.
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