BSN Philosophy / Conceptual Model
Baccalaureate nursing education provides a broad foundation in the sciences and liberal arts necessary for preparing professional nurses who are capable of practicing in a competent and responsible fashion as informed citizens in a dynamic and diverse society. Graduates of the baccalaureate nursing program are expected to demonstrate competencies consistent with being a critical thinker, a culturally competent person, a knowledgeable coordinator of community resources, a politically aware professional, a beginning practitioner whose actions are consistent with professional legal and ethical standards, an effective communicator, a competent provider of health care, and a person who exemplifies a positive image. Baccalaureate graduates assist individuals, families, and communities in attaining mutually established health goals and in facilitating the highest level of functioning for individuals, families, and communities toward the maximization of their health potential. Baccalaureate education must prepare graduates to be knowledgeable workers, processors of information, and to navigate complex health care systems using available technologies as they design and develop more efficient approaches to the delivery of health care services independently or in conjunction with others.
BSN Conceptual Model
The BSN program Double Helix Model focuses on the discipline of nursing and illustrates concepts faculty believe to be consistent with the philosophy of baccalaureate education. The strands of the double helix signify the general education, and nursing knowledge needed for professional preparation. Faculty view general education courses as an integrated educational experience, which provides students with opportunities to apply knowledge from courses in arts, sciences (biological and social), and humanities, to professional practice. These strands spiral in an ascending design reflective of the introduction, and revisiting of knowledge over time, each time allowing for the integration and synthesis of that knowledge. The two outer strands of the helix also depict a balance between the art and science of nursing that call upon both intuitive and analytical skills, as well as the ability to understand the holistic connections among the mind, body, and spirit. Multiple theoretical models, both from nursing and other disciplines, are examined in order to provide the theoretical underpinnings for nursing practice.
The concepts of the wellness/illness/wellness continuum are seen in the three levels of the helix. Level one of the helix focuses on wellness from the perspective of disease prevention and health promotion. Level two of the helix emphasizes alterations, or potential alterations in wellness in combination with health restoration and maintenance. The third, or last level of the model, returns the student's attention to the synthesis of the first two levels in increasingly complex fashion. It is understood that individuals, families, or communities experience various sensations of wellness and illness as they are acted upon by internal and external environmental forces.
The helix strands are held together by nine linkways that are representative of the program outcomes. These outcomes are: critical thinking, cultural competence, knowledgeable coordinator of community resources, political awareness, ethical and legal competence, effective communicator, competent provider of health care, professional role model, and responsible manager. As beginning practitioners, graduates demonstrate those outcomes in caring for individuals, families and communities.