School of Nursing

Mission and Philosophy of the School of Nursing

Mission

The University of Southern Maine School of Nursing is dedicated to advancing the health and well-being of its community through the education of caring and competent nurses prepared for the challenges of 21st century nursing practice.

Philosophy

We, the faculty, believe that professional and safe nursing practice is at the intersection of clinical excellence and effective relational practice. Relational practice is an outcome-orientated approach to nursing that includes reflective practice, strong communication, and respectful disciplinary, and interprofessional collaboration with a focus on patient and family-centered care.

Baccalaureate nursing education is guided by theory and knowledge from nursing science, the arts and humanities, the social sciences, and the biological sciences. It builds on this background to advance the art and science of nursing using informatics, technology and evidence to address issues of quality and safety. In an effort to deliver compassionate and ethical care, students develop a broad understanding of social structures as they gain awareness and respect for individuals. Nursing students develop an understanding of how systems affect the health and well-being of diverse communities, families, and individuals across the life span. In an ever-changing, complex and global world our graduates will have generalist nursing knowledge, orientation to leadership and a focus on the growing needs of an aging population.

The University of Southern Maine School of Nursing undergraduate nursing program embraces the Maine Nurse Core Competencies (2013), AACN Baccalaureate Essentials (2008) and the University of Southern Maine’s Core Curriculum Learning Outcomes (2011) as foundational to the curriculum.

Our philosophy of teaching nursing is based on the principles outlined in the Carnegie Foundation sponsored research on Educating Nurses (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard and Day, 2010) which advances four essential shifts for effective integration of the three apprenticeships of nursing (knowledge, know-how, and formation). The shifts are defined in Appendix.

Graduate nursing education builds on baccalaureate education and is guided by advanced theory and knowledge from nursing and other sciences. A primary aim of graduate nursing education is to ensure that every student acquires the ability to analyze, synthesize and utilize knowledge to advance the practice of nursing. Graduate education prepares the nurse to engage in scholarly enquiry using research and quality improvement methods, contemporary technology and interprofessional collaboration.

The SON graduate nursing program embraces the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) Essentials of Master’s Education in Nursing (2011), National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculty (NONPF) Core Competencies (2012), NONPF Population–Focused Core Competencies (2013), NONPF Adult Gerontology NP Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Core Competencies (2010), National League for Nursing (NLN) Core Competencies of Nurse Educators (2005) and AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice (2006).

At the University of Southern Maine School of Nursing students, faculty members, practicing nurses and clients work as partners in learning.  Students begin from a place of self-awareness with an expectation that deep learning will challenge long-held beliefs, attitudes and responses. Learning begins when students acknowledge, respect and reflect upon past and present experiences.  Learning is enhanced by critical engagement in the educational process, by the perception that the task of education is relevant and meaningful and by an expectation of success. Repetition and meaningful feedback allow students to develop insight, new habits and practice patterns. Varied strategies and sequential mastery of content enable learners to develop approaches, establish connections and verify patterns to make generalizations and discriminations.  The shared responsibility for identifying learning needs and evaluating learning experiences enhances self-confidence and the ability to become increasingly self-directed.  Successful learning takes place in an environment where learners feel both challenged and supported.