School of Nursing & Health Professions

Nursing Philosophy

MWSU Nursing Faculty believe that professional nursing practice is based upon the integration of the concepts related to person, health, environment and nursing.

The person is viewed as a unique being with intrinsic worth and dignity, whose wholeness is more than the sum of his/her physiological, psychological, sociocultural and spiritual components. A person is a complex open system who is in constant interaction with an internal and external environment. The person is able to choose among alternative actions; set goals; make decisions based on perceptions, expectations, needs and developmental level. Diversity among persons is valued and respected. Therefore, professional nurses respect the rights of an individual to self-determination and to make informed decisions regarding his/her health.


Health is a dynamic holistic process in which individuals and/or groups interact with physiological, psychological, culture and spiritual stimuli in order to achieve maximum potential. All individuals, groups, families, organizations and communities have the potential for both health and illness. The goal of nursing is to promote health, prevent illness, support disease management and improve quality of life as well as supporting end-of-life decisions and care.


The environment is the aggregate of conditions which influence the life of an individual or group. This environment is composed of persons, families, organizations and community systems interfacing with rapidly expanding technology. The environment in which health care is delivered varies from complex and highly technological to basic and underdeveloped. Nurses manage, monitor and manipulate the environment to foster health.


Professional nursing is a practice-based discipline built upon nursing knowledge and theory, as well as knowledge derived from a wide variety of other disciplines. Liberal education is valued as a base for critical thinking, clinical judgment and ethical decision-making. Nursing is a helping, caring process with the goal of facilitating the health of individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

Standards-based practice underpins the implementation of the nursing process and is focused on maintaining, restoring or promoting optimal health. Application of the nursing process requires critical thinking, nursing judgments and competent nursing actions. The nursing process is implemented through a collaborative nurse/client relationship that involves therapeutic interpersonal communication and mutually defined goals and desired outcomes. Professional nursing integrates multiple role expectations including leader, follower, provider, designer, manager and coordinator of care. The professional nurse promotes, participates in and uses research as a part of a commitment to high quality care, evidence-based practice and improved outcomes.

Nursing is an integral part of the multi-disciplinary health care system which has the responsibility to provide accessible, cost-effective, quality care. As such, professional nurses must possess effective organizational and teamwork skills; a service orientation; an ethic of professional and social responsibility; cost awareness and accountability for clinical outcomes; commitment to continuous improvement of health care and competency in population-based care.

In addition, MWSU Nursing Faculty hold the following beliefs related to baccalaureate education of student nurses:

Nursing education occurs in an accredited academic setting within an institution of higher education and is based upon interaction of the learner, the educator, the curriculum, teaching-learning strategies and the environment The goal of the educational program is to prepare professional nurses who are visionary, possess leadership skills and have the necessary competencies to meet the demands of the evolving health care system. To this end, the faculty are committed to creating and sustaining reciprocal partnerships with a variety of clinical practice settings wherein mutually beneficial relationships support both student clinical learning experiences and benefit the delivery setting.

Learning is a life-long process of developing individual potential through a spirit of inquiry and self-motivation. Learning involves cognitive, affective and psychomotor components and development of critical and creative thinking. The learner is accountable for his/her learning and is expected to demonstrate responsibility for independence and self-direction.

Faculty have accountability for facilitating student learning by developing, implementing and evaluating quality learning experiences based on current research and practice. Faculty also have individual responsibility for scholarship including dimensions of discovery, integration, application and teaching.