Philosophy

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The Faculty of the School of Nursing believe that nursing is a practice discipline and an instrument of care in society. Nursing is distinctive among the practice disciplines in its angle of vision, intimacy, scope and privileged position in relation to patients and concern with creating and using knowledge to achieve practical and moral ends. Nurses are witnesses to life’s most profound events, especially when people are at their most vulnerable. Nursing is an embodied practice, transcending time and space – that is, always there – and traversing boundaries usually considered relatively impermeable and even inviolable. Nurses stand between patients and illness, medicine and healthcare systems as mediators, buffers, translators, facilitators and cultural brokers. By constantly reconfiguring their practices to accommodate patient needs, situations and locations, nurses model what dynamic, responsive and embodied caring about and caring for are, and how such care is fundamental to cure.

The Faculty believe that nursing education is the instrument by which nursing becomes an instrument of care in society. Education at all levels occurs in an environment of scholarly inquiry and is variously oriented toward preparing students to care about and for individuals through the lifespan and to participate with individuals, families and communities to enhance well-being, promote a healthful life, prevent injury and disease, ameliorate the negative effects of injury and disease and their treatment, and ensure a dignified and peaceful death. A healthful life is one in which individuals and communities are able to fully participate in the benefits of and conversations about health and one that is not limited by place, poverty, prejudice or violence. Students of nursing learn the benefits of forming partnerships with individuals, families and communities at various organizational levels to improve health and influence practice and policy. Students of nursing learn to combine their knowledge of the humanities, the biological, social and nursing sciences, and clinical diagnosis and therapeutics with their intimate knowledge of the particularities of patients to provide biographically relevant, culturally sensitive, evidence-based and ethically appropriate health care services. In addition to using creatively knowledge from the sciences and humanities in their encounters with the persons and communities they serve, nurses produce knowledge that in turn contributes to these sciences and the humanities and to the distinctive knowledge of practice that is the forte of nursing.

The signature contributions of nursing and nursing education are to the generation, transmission and creative use of knowledge for practice, the enhancement of health, and the continuous improvement of health care. Practice knowledge comprises complex transformations and syntheses of case, patient, person and system knowledge for the purpose of discovering and enacting workable and moral solutions to health care problems. As a steward of the public interest, committed to beneficence and the fair use of resources, the School of Nursing maintains and improves resources for the benefit of the populations it serves.

Adopted Feb. 12, 2001