Academics :: School of Health Professions

Philosophy of the Nursing Program

The following statements reflect the beliefs of the faculty of the Associate Degree Nursing Program of Virginia Western Community College:


  • Is an applied discipline that requires continuing study and practice of five core competencies:
      • Professional Behavior, Nursing Process, Nursing Interventions, Knowledge, and Communication.
  • Integrates principles from the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and other health care disciplines.

Nursing Education

  • Should be located in an institution of higher education.
  • May be built upon a foundation that begins at the Associate Degree level.
  • Is a two-way process involving both teaching and learning.
  • Ideally continues throughout the professional life of the nurse.
  • Prepares for entry level practice for nursing.


  • Assists the learner to change behavior in a goal-directed manner.
  • Includes the acquisition of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values as evidenced by changes in the behavior of the learners.
  • Is highly individualized and proceeds at varying rates.


  • Support the core competencies for nursing adapted by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN) (2013) from the PEW Commission (1998).
  • Prepare students to care for individuals and their families in a variety of settings within the framework of the interdisciplinary team.
  • Act as resource persons who guide and facilitate the learning process.
  • Adapt their involvement in the teaching-learning process to the needs of the individual learner.


  • Are individuals who have the primary responsibility for learning.
  • Must be active in the learning process to achieve optimal learning.
  • Utilize an active critical thinking process which integrates theory, concepts and knowledge application for sound clinical decision-making.

The Nurse

  • Is accountable personally, professionally, ethically, and legally.
  • Interacts with other disciplines to meet the health needs of the individual.
  • Assists the individual to independently perform activities that contribute to the maintenance, promotion, and restoration of health, or to a peaceful death.
  • Is aware of the dynamic cultural and spiritual diversity of individuals across the life span and how this diversity impacts the individual’s health care needs.
  • Is a contributing citizen of society.
  • Applies critical thinking by using the nursing process and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as frameworks for nursing practice.
  • Serves as an advocate for the client, family, and the community.
  • Develops a continued awareness of trends in the delivery of health care.
  • Delivers safe competent care.

The Client

  • Is a rational, self-directed, biopsychosocial being.
  • Evolves from a complex and diverse background.
  • Is unique.
  • Strives to meet human needs that are common to all.
  • Is a member of a family and a community.
  • Has the inherent ability for independence and decision-making.
  • Has dignity and is worthy of respect.


  • The atmosphere or milieu, or conditions in which an individual lives, works or plays.


  • An experience that is often expressed in terms of wellness and illness. and may occur in the presence or absence of disease or injury.
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