The faculty of the Nursing Program believes in the continued education, career mobility, and professional development of nurses. Consistent with this belief and the mission of Eastern Illinois University, the Nursing Program offers superior, flexible, and accessible undergraduate nursing education for registered nurses pursuing a baccalaureate degree with a major in nursing. The Nursing faculty defines the concepts of person, environment, and health to form the framework for nursing practice. Nursing education is conceptualized as a student-centered system that facilitates the professional growth and development of registered nurses.
A person is a unique individual with human needs. The uniqueness of a person is influenced by environmental and genetic factors. Human needs are requirements for well-being. When needs are unmet, the person’s homeostasis is threatened. Health problems cause and result from altered homeostasis. Individuals are open systems, interacting with subsystems and the environment to maintain homeostasis. Because persons are open systems, they are able to adapt through change, growth, and development. Open systems interact dynamically with subsystems and the environment, or suprasystem.
The environment or suprasystem includes all of the conditions surrounding and affecting the person. As part of the environment, the family is a system that greatly impacts the well-being of the individual. Other systems that affect the individual include the social and health care systems, culture, community, and world. Because systems interact dynamically, a change in one system will impact the other systems. The health of the individual can be either promoted or impaired by the environment.
Health is a dynamic state of physical, mental, and social well-being. A holistic view of health allows the nurse to identify the health status of individuals as well as the influences of the subsystems and suprasystem on the health state.
Nursing is a system requiring advanced knowledge and skills. The focus of nursing care is the client system, which can be comprised of an individual, group, family, population, or community. Nurses meet diverse health care needs of client systems through health promotion, disease prevention, illness and disease management, restoration, and end-of-life interventions in a variety of health care settings. There are three primary nursing roles: provider of care, designer/manager/coordinator of care, and member of the nursing profession. As providers of care, nurses integrate theory, research and knowledge from the natural sciences, mathematics, humanities and nursing as a foundation for clinical decision-making, inquiry and evidence-based practice, and evaluative nursing practice. This foundational information is dynamic and constantly changing, requiring nurses to engage in lifelong inquiry and learning in order to provide excellent nursing care. High quality nursing interventions involve core competencies of thorough assessment, knowledge of major health problems and cultural implications, critical thinking, technical skill, and effective communication with client systems, colleagues, and other members of the health care team. In the role of designed/manager/coordinator of care, the nurse applies leadership skills to the provision of nursing care as collaborative member of an interdisciplinary health care team within a complex health care system. As a member of the profession, the nurse implements care based on professional standards and values, works to improve care through professional organizations, seeks to influence the health care system through health policy, and strives for professional development.
Baccalaureate nursing education prepares the student for professional nursing roles and is a dynamic process that promotes the synthesis of information from general and liberal studies, the sciences, and nursing. This process builds upon the students’ existing foundation of knowledge and experiences using various learning resources and modalities to address the unique learning needs of adult students. Faculty members serve as facilitators of learning, helping students expand their knowledge and competencies, as well as further develop professional roles and values. A student centered academic environment fosters collaborative learning, student-faculty scholarship, and lifelong learning. Applied, problem-based learning experiences assist adult students to become active, motivated, and self-directed learners with the ability to access and synthesize information and communicate clearly. To meet the needs of learners and the larger community, the faculty pursues excellence in teaching, research, and service.