What Is Nursing?
Nursing is a unique profession concerned with all variables affecting clients in their environment. Nursing actions are initiated to best retain, attain, and maintain optimal client health or wellness using the three preventions (primary, secondary, tertiary) as interventions to keep the system stable.
The Department of Nursing began in 1957, and the first class graduated in 1962. Nursing is one of the eight departments in the School of Health and Human Services.
The mission of the Department of Nursing is to offer quality nursing education to undergraduate and graduate nursing students. This education prepares nurses by giving them clinical decision making skills based on theory and research. As life-long learners, graduates are prepared to deliver quality health care for increasingly diverse populations.
California State University, Fresno offers comprehensive programs that lead to the bachelor's and master's degrees in a wide variety of fields of study. A strong general education component in the undergraduate programs fosters the importance of lifelong learning. The master's programs are designed to provide specialized study in selected advanced practice fields. The University's special commitment to the San Joaquin Valley is to prepare students for industries and professions serving the community. To achieve the mission, California State University, Fresno supports applied research and public service programs as a means to enhance faculty development and instruction, especially those which contribute to the intellectual, social, cultural, and economic vitality of the San Joaquin Valley and California.
The Department of Nursing philosophy, consistent with the mission of the University and School of Health and Human Services, is an expression of the commitment to excellence in professional education in meeting the health needs of the community. The Department of Nursing, therefore, offers a baccalaureate program for generalists, a School Nurse Credential Program, and a master's program for advanced practice in selected areas. In order to meet the rapidly changing needs of society and the requirements of the profession, the faculty continually evaluates existing programs for effectiveness, initiates new programs, and implements change when necessary. The faculty believe that the nursing profession is characterized by the four concepts of person, environment, health, and nursing.
The faculty further believe that a person is a unique being in constant interaction with environmental stressors: intrapersonal, interpersonal, and extrapersonal in nature. Response to these stressors is influenced by the interaction of the individual's physiological, psychological, sociocultural, and developmental variables. It is also believed that individuals have the right to make decisions that affect their lifestyle and well-being. The environment encompasses internal and external forces including societal, technological, cultural, and other multidimensional influences.
Health and illness are viewed as continuing processes along a wellness-illness continuum, in which the individual attempts to achieve a sustainable balance between needs and available resources. Nursing responds to the reciprocal interaction between the person and the environment to facilitate a state of dynamic equilibrium or change in the level of health at any point along the wellness-illness continuum. Nursing is directed toward reducing stress factors that influence or could influence the attainment of an optimum level of wellness by an individual, family, or community.
This goal is achieved through the nursing process, a systematic, problem-solving technique used for implementing independent, interdependent, and dependent nursing actions. This process consists of assessing the person's actual and/or potential health problems, constructing a diagnostic statement, formulating goals and objectives with expected outcomes, implementing therapeutic interventions, and evaluating the effectiveness of these interventions/preventions. The philosophy of the department is actualized through application of the Neuman Systems Model. Nursing is advancing into a new era of expanding roles, responsibilities and functions in primary, secondary, and tertiary preventions. Faculty are responsible for the preparation of professional nurses who can assume current nursing roles and adapt to future health needs and evolving health care requirements. Thus, professional nursing education requires a flexible curriculum that emphasizes a total person approach and is based on evolving nursing theory and knowledge from the sciences and other related disciplines.
The faculty believe that learning is a process that influences and promotes change in behavior. Learning is viewed as a life-long process involving the continuing development of personal, intellectual, and professional growth. Learning is facilitated by professional role modeling and an educational environment conducive to the exchange of ideas, critical thinking, decision-making, creativity, experimentation and innovation.
Inherent in the teaching/learning process is the reciprocal responsibility of faculty and students in influencing the process of learning outcomes. In this relationship, faculty serve as role models and valuable resources in facilitating the advancement of nursing practice through leadership, research, and scientific inquiry. The faculty recognize the unique diversity of the Central Valley including cultural and ethnic backgrounds, language, beliefs, values, learning styles, and support systems. This diversity is viewed as an asset that is incorporated into curriculum development, implementation, and evaluation. The learner is expected to exhibit self-direction, and a sense of responsibility and accountability in mastery of knowledge and skills consistent with professional practice.
As scholars, nurses, and citizens, faculty accept the responsibility for the development of the profession and improvement of health care through continuing practice, study, and research. The faculty believe that well developed leadership abilities are essential in professional practice. Nurses need to seek improved ways of service to clients through research and effective dissemination of knowledge.
The faculty is committed to an educational process that prepares undergraduate nurses for entry level positions in nursing. Consistent with the concept of career mobility, opportunities are provided for returning RNs to articulate with the program at appropriate academic levels. The generalist education of the baccalaureate program serves as a foundation for graduate education in nursing.
The Master of Science in Nursing program prepares professionals in the functional roles of primary care nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist and nursing educator. The second professional degree also provides foundation for doctoral study.
The graduate curriculum supports the functional areas and facilitates competence in the essential clinical domains which include: Management of client health/illness status; The nurse-client relationship; Teaching and outcome based evaluations, Professional role development; Health promotion and human diversity; Managing health care delivery systems; and Monitoring quality of health care practice.