About the Nursing Program
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PHILOSOPHY AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK
The Associate Degree Nursing Program at Odessa College functions as an integral part of the College. The role, the mission, and the purpose of Odessa College serve as the basis for the Nursing Program. It is the mission of the nursing faculty to educate and prepare beginning professionals for practice in a multicultural community within a diverse and changing health care environment, advance the practice of nursing, and provide quality health care in a competent, caring manner.
The faculty believe that the client is the primary focus of nursing care. Associate degree nursing defines client as individual and family. Each individual is a unique, holistic being with intrinsic worth and dignity. Clients have biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, and cultural needs which are dynamic and deeply influenced by changes in their internal and external environment.
We believe that the environment encompasses internal and external conditions, circumstances, and influences that interact with and affect the client. Environment consists of physical, psychological, biological, social, spiritual, and cultural components. Environment is dynamic, including values and beliefs, technological resources, economic diversity, educational opportunities, and human characteristics. It provides the context for the development of individuals, the identification of human needs, including those related to health, and the practice of nursing within various settings.
Faculty believe that health refers to the level of biological, psychological, social and spiritual functioning on a wellness-illness continuum, not merely the absence of disease. Health is influenced by developmental stages, social, economic, and cultural factors, personal choices about lifestyle and values, genetic and environmental factors, and generational patterns.
Faculty believe that nursing is a science and art based on knowledge derived from a body of nursing science, the physical and social sciences, and the humanities. In collaboration with the client, the role of the nurse is to assist in promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health. Nursing is focused on using a systematic decision making process to identify and respond to the needs of individual clients and families along the health-illness continuum. Nursing practice utilizes cognitive, affective, and psychomotor skills in meeting the health needs of individuals. Nurses collaborate within a multidisciplinary health care team to meet the needs of individuals and families. The practice of nursing necessitates legal and ethical standards for professional excellence and encompasses lifelong learning and application of research. Nursing is a dynamic, interactive, and caring profession.
As a faculty, we believe that caring is an essential component of nursing, through which scientific nursing principles are used to meet the needs of the client and family with dignity and competency. Caring requires a personal, social, moral, and spiritual engagement of the nurse. Caring behaviors encompass showing concern, patience, compassion, and being a client advocate within the socio-cultural context of the client.
As nurse educators, we believe that nursing education is grounded in natural, social, behavioral, and humanistic sciences with an emphasis on communication, decision-making, ethical behavior, and caring for culturally diverse clients of all ages. Nursing education provides opportunities for students to acquire the knowledge, skills, therapeutic interventions, attitudes, and values of nursing, and then to transfer these abilities to clients in their care. The associate degree nurse is prepared as a beginning level practitioner who provides safe, effective, and ethical nursing care in a variety of health care settings. The faculty and college strive to provide an educational environment in which students are encouraged to learn and assimilate knowledge necessary for their practice. This is accomplished by combining the most effective traditional methods with latest teaching and technological innovations. Nurse educators expect students to be responsible, active learners. Graduates of the Nursing Program are prepared to practice safely, competently and adapt to a variety of health care settings.
The program design of the curriculum at Odessa College is based on the faculty’s beliefs concerning the client, environment, health, nursing, caring, and nursing education. It is planned to emphasize the individuality of each client and address the changing needs of clients and health care. These needs are based on physiological, psychological, social and spiritual dynamics of the clients and families.
The primary concepts of the program are the role of the nurse as Provider of Care, Coordinator of Care and Member of a Profession. These concepts are based on the Differentiated Entry Level Competencies written for nursing programs to meet the approved criteria established by the Texas Board of Nursing outcomes for graduates.
In the role of the nurse as Provider of Care, the nurse is to provide competent and appropriate care to clients in a caring, culturally sensitive and holistic manner. To prepare students for this role, a strong background in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, health assessment, microbiology, and psychology is required, as well as an awareness of the emotional, financial, cultural, and spiritual concerns specific to each client. After gathering all the needed data, the nurse must assimilate this data using the decision-making skills taught in the nursing program and arrive at appropriate nursing diagnoses, goals and interventions to meet the client’s needs. After implementing the care, the nurse must evaluate the effectiveness of care and revise it as needed. Client and family education is essential in assisting the client to achieve and maintain their optimal level of wellness, as is the use of therapeutic communication techniques. To further prepare students for practice as a graduate nurse, students are progressed in their ability to care for multiple clients, as well as delegate care activities to other team members.
In the role of Coordinator of Care, the nurse is to collaborate with and encourage effective communication between clients, families and other members of the health care team. In preparation for this role, students learn about the many resources available to clients in the local area, as well as state and national organizations and services. Application of organizational and management skills enhances the quality of nursing care provided by the graduate nurse, the level of client satisfaction and, ultimately the achievement of positive client outcomes.
In the role of Member of a Profession, the nurse assumes accountability and responsibility for one’s own actions, and practices within the boundaries of the Texas Nursing Practice Act, the Nurse’s Code of Ethics, and established standards of practice, policies and procedures. An important responsibility for the professional nurse is that of client advocate, who often collaborates with the interdisciplinary team to identify unmet needs from a holistic perspective. The nurse is to display a professional image and conduct him/herself in a professional manner, including the provision of nursing care in a caring, non-judgmental, nondiscriminatory manner. Graduates are expected to demonstrate an attitude of openness and kindness in interpersonal relationships, focus on the needs of others, and communication effectively with members of the health care team, clients and families. The graduate nurse is to maintain currency in practice through continuing education. Graduates are encouraged to participate in activities that promote the profession of nursing, such as participating on organizational committees, within professional organizations, and for staying informed about issues and trends affecting the practice of professional nursing.
Upon completion of the program, the graduate will demonstrate competency in the following roles:
As Provider of Care:
- Determine the health status and health needs of clients* based upon interpretation of health data and preventive health practices in collaboration with clients and interdisciplinary health care team members.
- Formulate goals/outcomes and plan of care based on nursing diagnoses in collaboration with clients and interdisciplinary health care team members. (i.e., nursing process)
- Implement plan of care within legal and ethical parameters, including scope of practice, in collaboration with the client and interdisciplinary health care team to assist client in meeting health care needs.
- Develop and implement teaching plans for clients concerning promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health.
- Evaluate clients= responses and outcomes to therapeutic interventions.
- Provide for the care of multiple clients either through direct care or assignment and/or delegation of care to other members of the health care team.
- Use critical thinking approach to analyze clinical data and current literature as a basis for decision making in nursing practice.
As Coordinator of Care:
- Coordinate human and material resources for the provision of care for clients.
- Collaborate with clients and the interdisciplinary health care team for the planning and delivery of care.
- Refer clients to resources that facilitate continuity of care.
- Function within the organizational framework of various health care settings.
As Member of a Profession:
*The Differentiated Entry Level Competencies of Graduates of Texas Nursing Programs defines ‘client’ for the associate degree entry level into practice as ‘individual and family.’ Texas Board of Nursing, September, 2002.
- Assume accountability and responsibility for the quality of nursing care provided to clients.
- Act as an advocate to promote the provision of quality health care for clients.
- Participate in activities that promote the development and practice of professional nursing.