Philosophy

Philosophy

The School of Nursing, which offers undergraduate and graduate programs, is an integral unit of Hampton University and reflects the goals and ideas of excellence in the teaching-living-learning process, which includes “Education for Life.”  The primary service to society rendered by the School of Nursing is the preparation of excellent professional practitioners.

We believe that the Human Being is a unique client/client system worthy of dignity, respect and caring.  We further believe that, as a bio-psycho-socio-cultural-political-spiritual being, Human Being  is conceptualized as a set of open systems who functions as a unified whole with basic needs;  seek to maintain balance through purposeful and dynamic interactions with the internal and external environments; an individual, family, group or community.

The Environment is a complex system of internal and external forces, which interact continuously with us on various levels from individuals through communities.  The internal Environment consists of those factors or interactive influences which are contained entirely within the client system and which affect its balance.  The external environment includes all forces or influences external to or existing outside the system defined as client.  Each component of the Environment is a vital and integral part of the whole. The family system is viewed as the basic unit of the environment and the vehicle through which individuals are assimilated into groups and communities. Environmental forces influence the need for change.  These forces also influence the value and expectations placed on the health care system as part of the external Environment.

Health is a dynamic, changing phenomenon requiring a holistic approach to its promotion.  Health may be viewed on a wellness-illness continuum.  When the Human Being is able to adapt to internal and external environmental changes and maintain internal constancy, optimal functioning is on the wellness end of the continuum. When adaptation to changes in the environment is no longer possible, and the internal constancy is altered, functioning is then deemed to be on the illness end of the continuum.  Interaction with the health care system is seen as a reciprocal activity in which responsibilities are shared by the client system and society for fostering environments conducive to health.

We believe that nursing is unique in its commitment to the promotion of optimal health and the prevention of illness through mutual participation with clients in defining and achieving health-related goals.  Nursing is a dynamic health care system that recognizes the unique value of the client and involves the process of assessing, analyzing, planning, implementing, and evaluating health care needs of individuals, families, groups, and communities within a caring environment.  Nursing offers care and comfort in diverse settings when a need imbalance occurs and internal constancy can no longer be maintained.  We believe that professional nursing practice encompasses all aspects of health care delivery for individuals, families, groups, and communities, including (1) health promotion and maintenance, (2) illness care, (3) restoration, (4) rehabilitation, (5) health counseling, and (6) education.  We recognize that political, economical, and technological considerations are important in determining the resources available to meet nursing’s commitment to the client.  Therefore, professional nurses must be cognizant of those influences on nursing practice and health care delivery, and of their responsibilities in influencing them.

The faculty believes that professional nursing practice is characterized by (1) accountability for one’s own nursing practice, (2) acceptance of responsibility for management of nursing care delegated to others, (3) advocacy for the needs of clients, (4) autonomy in decision making concerning the practice of nursing and client care, and (5) the ability to function both independently and collaboratively as a member of the health care team.  The graduates of the nursing programs should be committed to the ethical, legal, and political responsibilities inherent in professional nursing practice.  We believe a major responsibility of the professional nurse is to improve practice through the application of theory and research.  Professional nursing’s special contribution to health care lies in its ability to assist people of all cultural groups to maintain balance with their environments by providing continuous and integrated caring.

Meeting health care needs is a crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy, diverse and multicultural society.  The faculty recognizes that nursing is an invaluable resource that has historically provided a component of health care in an environment characterized by rapid change and technological complexity to which it must adapt.  Therefore, nursing’s emerging roles must take into account a complex social, cultural, economic, ethical, legal, political, and educational environment as they evolve.  We also believe that nursing must exert greater influence within the community of health professions, and nursing practice must include achievement of the goal of equal access to health service for all citizens.

The faculty is committed to the individual and professional development of learners.  We believe that teaching-learning experiences, which stimulate introspection, self-awareness, self-evaluation, and goal setting, can best be provided in a caring environment.  In view of this commitment, faculty serves to promote the learners’ independence, critical thinking, clinical judgment, and decision-making behaviors in a changing health care environment.  It is our belief that active involvement of learners in their continuous educational process and the self-directed pursuit of knowledge will facilitate their achievement of specific goals.  We believe that maintaining higher expectations encourages learners to attain their full potential.

The concepts reflected in the strands are used with the baccalaureate program terminal objectives as guidelines to develop specific baccalaureate level objectives.  The horizontal strands are the nursing process, communication process, teaching-learning process and the vertical strands are the individual-family-group-community component, the wellness-illness continuum, and primary, secondary and tertiary prevention