The University of Pittsburgh at Titusville provides as Associate of Science in Nursing program to prepare students at the undergraduate level to become entry-level nurses. The Associate of Science in Nursing program will prepare students to sit for the examination required for state licensure as a Registered Nurse and it will prepare them to provide direct care to patients in a variety of employment positions under the supervision of qualified professional nursing and/or medical personnel.
The goals of the nursing program are:
- To offer an associate of science degree in nursing that fulfills the requirements of the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing to prepare students to sit for the NCLEX exam for Registered Nurses.
- To offer an associate of science degree in nursing that provides an educational foundation supportive of transition or advancement to a higher degree.
- To offer an associate of science degree in nursing that prepares a graduate to function as an entry-level nurse in a variety of health care settings.
The following philosophical beliefs are integral to the curriculum of the program:
Nursing is a process of engagement and caring between the nurse and the client that is focused upon the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of health and the enhancement of the quality of life. Nursing is a profession that is guided by a body of knowledge, ethical standards and legal parameters. The Nursing Process is a systematic methodology that enhances the quality of nursing care by providing the mechanism by which nurses assist the client in meeting health care needs. Client teaching is an integral part of nursing practice. Nurses are responsible and accountable to the client, the profession, and the employer for the quality of services that they provide.
Clients are individuals, families or groups of person who are constantly interacting with and adapting to the environment. Clients have unique values, needs, goals and capabilities for health; are responsible for their own well being; must make decisions that affect their health status; and accept responsibility for their decisions. Clients have rights to privacy, information about their health care, equal access to health care, and quality care.
Health is a constantly changing phenomenon within the wellness-illness continuum. It is an individual’s perception of his being and this perception is influenced by his values and his interpretation of quality of life at any given time. This self-perception is influenced by one’s history, culture, family, and community. Health care choices are influenced by relationships with family, significant others, health care professionals, and an assimilation of cultural values, expectations and the availability of resources. Nursing involves understanding and valuing the client’s individuality and diversity regarding his perception of health.
The nurse recognizes that all clients have inherent worth. The nurse establishes a therapeutic relationship with a client that is characterized by trust, meaningful communications and an attitude of respect and dignity. Nurses must communicate attitudes of caring, commitment, integrity, accountability and respect for all persons in order to reinforce client self-esteem, nurture strengths, and facilitate health. The nurse recognizes that effective communication between clients, health care professionals, and members of the community concerning health-related issues enhances the continuity and quality of care that is provided. Verbal, nonverbal, and technological communication skills are an integral part of positive, effective nursing communication.
Nurses work in a great variety of health care and social environments. Health care services are provided by a team of medical, nursing, ancillary and supportive staff. Nurses are integral members of the health care team. The nurse recognizes that good communication between health care team members enhances the continuity and quality of care that is provided. The nurse recognizes that all health care workers have valuable contributions to make to the comprehensive and complex health care needs of clients. The nurse recognizes the cultural, social and geographical environmental influences upon access to care and quality of care. Nurses are accountable and responsible for the efficient and effective use of health care resources.
Learning is a transformational process wherein one acquires knowledge, skills and/or attitudes that support change and growth. The teaching-learning process requires the active involvement of both the teacher and the learner. In this process, the teacher serves as the facilitator of learning, and the learner accepts responsibility for individual educational outcomes. Continued learning is essential for professional growth in nursing. Nurses must learn relevant scientific principles upon which to build and apply skilled nursing interventions. Critical thinking enhances interpersonal skills and cognitive functioning. Nurses must learn how to critically think in order to become effective nurses who engage in the nursing process and achieve therapeutic outcomes in a rapidly evolving health care environment. This program strives to instill a spirit of inquiry, encourage academic excellence, and foster lifelong learning in all students.
Curriculum Objectives/Specific Student Outcomes
The graduate from the program will:
- Demonstrate professional nursing behaviors that are characterized by behaviors consistent with legal, ethical and professional frameworks. The core of these behaviors are honesty, integrity, respect, flexibility, self-discipline and the pursuit of excellence.
- Utilize the nursing process and clinical reasoning to provide direct care for clients and families. Conduct an initial and ongoing comprehensive assessment utilizing critical thinking and evidence-based information to provide clinically competent care.
- Utilize professional communication skills that include developing trusting relationships characterized by therapeutic interactions, caring, compassion and respect to assist clients to meet their needs, developing and implementing a teaching plan with clients to promote health and support self-care activities, documenting and communicating data with other health team members to provide continuity of care, and using relevant sources of data, information, and technology for developing safe and effective nursing interventions.
- Demonstrate interprofessional collaboration and teamwork in organizing those aspects of care for clients and families for whom she/he is accountable by prioritizing, planning and evaluating the delivery of evidence-based nursing care. Identify quality and safety issues within the healthcare system.
- Demonstrate progressive learning behaviors that include Critical Thinking strategies and a spirit of inquiry to improve specific patient outcomes, an increase in level of responsibility and independence in planning and providing care, an increase in the number of self initiated learning opportunities for self and clients, and participation in self evaluation activities to enhance ongoing professional development.