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School of Nursing

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History, Mission & Philosophy

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School of Nursing Mission

Our mission is to prepare nursing graduates for generalist practice in a complex and ever-changing health care environment. Graduates will:

  1. Discover, understand, and appreciate the human responses and varied perceptions of life experiences;

    Understand the nursing role in socially and globally responsible health care;

    Participate with others in achieving health and optimal responses to life experiences through safe and quality patient-centered care, evidence based practice, and effective communication; and

    Assume professional nursing roles of provider of care, designer/manager/coordinator of care and member of the nursing profession who advocates for the patient and profession. 

> History > Philosophy


School of Nursing Philosophy

The School of Nursing at Avila University supports and is consistent with the values and expectations of the larger Avila Community including excellence in teaching and learning, the Catholic identity of the university, the worth, dignity and potential of each human being, diversity and its expression, commitment of the continual growth of the whole person, and interaction with and service to others.  In addition, the School of Nursing is responsive to changing demographic, academic, technological, and practice environments including the ongoing incorporation of professional guidelines and scientific findings into the academic program.

The professional nurse is educated through a baccalaureate in nursing degree.  This educational process includes preparation in the liberal arts, behavioral, biological, and natural sciences, communication, technology, and inquiry based thinking.  This process prepares the graduate for entry into generalist practice and facilitates professional role competency as provider of care, designer/manager/coordinator of care, and member of the nursing profession.  To best meet these role expectations, the professional nurse must embrace the values of caring and continuous professional development, and recognize varied perceptions of and responses to life experiences that people encounter.  The professional nurse respectfully acknowledges individual differences and the importance of these differences in achieving health and optimal responses to life experiences.

Health is viewed holistically and globally, encompassing individual, families, groups, communities, and populations with varying degrees of health- or illness-related needs and perceptions.  Health is determined by the perceptions of the individual.  Health includes promotion of wellness as well as the treatment and prevention of illness; the nurse’s role in promotion of wellness is becoming increasingly important to our society

Person is defined broadly as individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations.    Health and illness related needs are encountered in broad and diverse environments including the home, the school, the hospital, the clinic, the neighborhood, and the church.  The faculty believe that all individuals have the ability to self-determine and to impact their health and environment.

Through teaching strategies faculty make visible the connection between the liberal arts, sciences, and nursing practice.  This connection builds on the foundation provided in a baccalaureate education and models life-long learning.  Effective teaching occurs in a non-threatening and supportive environment. Teaching/learning strategies should facilitate active learning and be collaborative.  Learning is evidenced through assessment of the student’s increasing knowledge base, ability to apply such knowledge to practice, and personal, social, spiritual, and professional development.  Program outcomes assessment and constituency satisfaction guide curriculum decisions.

With an ever-increasing body of knowledge, new evidence for best practices, and shifts in the type of patients and settings in which nurses provide care, the curricula and courses provide opportunities for students to search, retrieve, critique, and synthesize information for making situated clinical judgments.  In other words, the faculty believe students are best prepared to practice if they think conceptually.  Giddens, J.F (2013).  Concepts for Nursing Practice.  Elsevier: St. Louis. (p. xi).

Responsibility for learning resides in the student.  Learning requires self-direction, self-motivation, continuous acquisition of new knowledge and skills, use of effective and facilitative communication, clinical reasoning, and evidence based decision making—some of which may, in reality, be latent learning applied once exposed to the workforce.  Evaluation of learning is focused on achievement of effective communication skills, higher-level thinking skills, and role development in a changing practice environment.  

The School of Nursing gratefully acknowledges the sponsorship, contribution, and far-reaching vision of the Sisters of St. Joseph who established this program over 60 years ago.   The education provided reflects the Sisters’ charism to recognize and care for the dear neighbor and to promote right relationships and social justice.


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