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Saint Anselm College nursing studentThe philosophy and mission of the Department of Nursing is consistent with the philosophy of Saint Anselm College, a Catholic liberal arts college in the Benedictine tradition. The nursing program builds on a foundation in the liberal arts and sciences, and integrates four major concepts throughout the curriculum: critical thinking, communication, professionalism and ethical decision making. The nursing department is committed to preparation of professional nurses who will provide care in ways that express Christian and Catholic values and ethics in both the delivery of health care and the advancement of the profession.

The curriculum is based on concepts, theories, and research from nursing and other disciplines. Courses are designed to enhance learner responsibility for acquiring knowledge. Faculty guidance and selection of relevant learning experiences through a variety of formats facilitate acquisition of knowledge and development of critical thinking skills. Nursing process provides a holistic approach to problem solving.

The framework of the nursing curriculum is an adaptation of the Neuman Systems Model in which: the client is viewed as an open system composed of physiological, psychological, sociocultural, spiritual and developmental variables; the client interacts continuously with internal and external environments; the interaction between client and environments influences the health of the client; health and disruption (alteration) in health are viewed on a continuum; and health (or wellness) is the condition in which client variables are in harmony, while disruption (alteration) in health result in disharmony. The framework also utilizes Gordon's Functional Health Patterns to organize course content. Nursing is a caring profession that promotes health and healing without restriction to a problem-focused orientation. Nursing care is designed to maintain client system harmony. As providers of care, nurses collaborate with client systems and other health providers in a culturally sensitive manner. The goals of nursing interventions are to promote, maintain, and restore optimal client system wellness.

The Department of Nursing supports the American Nurses Association's definition of Nursing as "the diagnosis and treatment of human responses to actual or potential health problems." The multifaceted role of the nurse requires knowledge and development of sensitivity and skills necessary to communicate effectively. Communication includes the ability to: listen and respond to clients' needs, convey both oral and written information, and utilize available technology. Communication occurs with individuals and in groups, and with diverse client and professional populations.

The baccalaureate graduate nurse is prepared to assume the role of the professional nurse in a leadership position. In this role the nurse, as a member of an interdisciplinary team designs, manages, and coordinates nursing care. The nurse is committed to uphold the Code of Ethics and the Standards of Care and Practice set forth by the American Nurses' Association. The professional nurse must maintain competency in a health care system that is changing at a rapid rate. This requires a commitment to life long learning through continuing nursing education.

The goals of the Department of Nursing are to prepare the graduate for the professional licensing examination, entry-level nursing positions in varied health care settings, graduate education; and to promote and improve health care through continuing education.