Alexandria, VA 703-746-8708               Washington, DC 202-388-5500

Philosophy

Saint Michael College of Allied Health’s nursing faculty holds certain philosophical beliefs about the nature of a person, nursing, health, environment, the teaching and learning process and nursing education. The following describes these concepts as they relate to healthcare delivery systems.

Person: A biopsychosocial and spiritual being with health care needs that are in a continual process of development from conception to death within a dynamic environment. A person is a living system and possesses the potential for free will in decision making.

Nursing: Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human responses and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations. Nurses enhance Human Flourishing by the strategic application of evidence-based nursing knowledge and skills to meet the diverse healthcare needs of their clients, communities and themselves throughout the life span.

Health: Health is a state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Every human has a right to access healthcare, including resources that enable him/her to become an active participant of patient-centred healthcare management and achieve their maximum health potential.

Environment: The individual constantly interacts with the dynamic atmosphere in which they live. The environment includes social, physical, ethical, moral, cultural and other influences that impact the client’s ability to meet basic needs. The nurse recognizes environmental and personal conditions associated with the holistic well-being of clients using Nursing Judgment. The nurse factors these conditions into plans that assist the individual in utilizing learned coping mechanisms while positively enhancing their ability to interact with the environment.

Teaching/Learning: Educational competence requires faculty/instructors to incorporate both art and science in structuring a learning environment that immerses students into meaningful experiences designed to achieve course, level, and program outcomes. The teacher is guided by his/her individual knowledge, skills and abilities, and actively seeks resources to respond to the unique needs, attitudes and motivations of the adult learner. It is the learner’s responsibility to become actively involved in the educational process with the goal of building a spirit of inquiry and embracing learning across the life span. The faculty/instructor, staff and College at large share in the individual and collective responsibility to create and facilitate the development of a Professional Identity within an environment in which learners can positively experience and actualize success.

Nursing Education: A process that integrates the knowledge of physical sciences, nursing concepts and technical skills to encourage the nursing student to successfully meet competencies as delineated by the professional and legal regulation of the nursing practice. Through the Spirit of Inquiry, the student is an active participant in applying critical reasoning to practice. Critical reasoning in this context is derived from evidenced-based practice which allows the student to respond autonomously and collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams to meet the ongoing challenges associated with the changing healthcare environment. Teamwork, the student must function effectively within nursing and interprofessional teams, fostering open communication, mutual respect, and shared decisional-making to achieve quality patient care.