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PHILOSOPHY

The faculty of the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing accepts as its own the purposes and objectives of the University as defined in the University of Alabama catalog and other official documents.

We believe that human beings influence and are influenced by the changing world in which they live. The unique experiences of life influence persons to develop as individuals equipped with the capacity to love, value, care, nurture, learn, and creatively respond to situations. Individuals exercise choices, adapt to the environment, and have the capacity for self-actualization. A dynamic relationship exists between the processes of development and adaptation. We faculty further believe that a dynamic, reciprocal relationship exists between persons and the environment. Persons are viewed as human beings who are actual or potential recipients of nursing care, including individuals, families, aggregates, or populations. The environment includes external conditions that affect the lives and development of individuals, families, aggregates, and populations.

We define society as individuals held together by any common bond and recognize the diversity of cultural goals and values within the global society. Society structures itself to achieve common purposes and seeks to maintain stability, while accommodating needs, changing values, and the availability of scientific and technological resources. The power of society is derived from pursuit of common goals. The potential for power in a given society is greater than the power of each individual.

We believe that the individual learner is engaged in a continuous process of gathering, exchanging, synthesizing, and managing information. We believe that learning is the process of changing behavior through the development of the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor abilities inherent in each individual. The learning process occurs at varying rates for individual learners and is affected by the learner's perception of need, level of motivation, perception of learning tasks, readiness to learn, and past experiences. The individual retains responsibility for learning, but the process may be facilitated by others. The collaborative learning process is enhanced when learners as well as teachers possess and practice self-awareness, acceptance, understanding, and effective communication.

We affirm a commitment to the nursing education enterprise and acknowledge our obligations to the students, the nursing profession, and society. These obligations require generation, transmission, and application of knowledge. We believe that the education of individuals for professional service is dependent on the socialization process in which faculty members model professional role behaviors and learners acquire the values, knowledge, and behaviors necessary to function as professional practitioners of nursing. Critical thinking, self-evaluation, and self-directed learning are regarded as essential components for continual personal and professional development. We believe that opportunities should be provided for lifelong learning.

Moreover, we believe that educational preparation for the practice of professional nursing begins at the baccalaureate level. Building upon baccalaureate preparation, master's education for advanced nursing practice incorporates skills and knowledge integral to effectively managing health care of individuals and specific populations. Nurses in advanced practice engage in independent and collaborative practice to improve access to appropriate services and achieve high-quality, fiscally responsible outcomes.

We believe that health reflects a dynamic dimension of physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being, and reflects the degree to which persons maximize their potential when experiencing disease or infirmity. By assuming responsibility for health and exercising the right of accessibility to health care, an individual has the ability to exert a measure of control over his or her life and health.

We believe that nursing meets a societal need as it fulfills its mission of assisting persons throughout the development and adaptation processes while maintaining a commitment to primary prevention. Nursing is viewed as a practice discipline encompassing both art and science. We value universal access to health care. We believe that the profession of nursing is an integral part of the health care system that makes provisions for effective utilization of human, scientific, technological, and economic resources in the delivery of health care. Nurses intervene with persons across the life span through primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention behaviors. Nurses use the tools of communication, caring, research, critical thinking, and professionalism to promote health, prevent disease in persons and their environments, and care for persons across the life span in various stages of illness. The increasing complexity of the health care system requires that nursing assume responsibility for assuring that the values of caring and concern for human beings have primacy in the decision-making process. Moreover, this complexity in health care mandates that nurses continue to assume a more visible role in the management of client care. We believe that nurses and other health care providers share with persons the responsibility for maximizing health within the potential of the individual, family, aggregate, and population. Nurses use a scientific, goal-directed, interpersonal process in assisting individuals, families, aggregates, and populations in a variety of settings to achieve a valued health state.

We believe the process of socialization into the multifaceted role of the professional nurse begins at the baccalaureate level and continues at the master's level. Through the utilization of inquiry methodology, the professional nurse analyzes, makes rational decisions, and evaluates the effects of interventions based on knowledge from the nursing discipline, the natural and social sciences, and the humanities. The professional nurse, as a leader, must be willing to take risks and serve as a client advocate to create innovative, planned changes that contribute to the improvement of the quality of health care. The professional nurse seeks opportunities to function autonomously and in collaboration with other health care providers. Accountability and quality of care are assessed in accordance with individual and professional values, published standards of care, and the professional Code of Ethics. Acceptance of the values of the profession requires a commitment to lifelong learning and active participation in the governance and advancement of the nursing profession. We believe that baccalaureate graduates of the Capstone College of Nursing possess those competencies that characterize a beginning professional nurse, including the knowledge and skills requisite to master's study in nursing. Master's graduates possess those competencies that characterize advanced professional nursing practice, including the knowledge and skills required for doctoral study.

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