The mission of the nursing program at Alma College is congruent with the mission of Alma College. The nursing program’s mission is to prepare competent baccalaureate nurses who are committed to think critically, serve generously, lead purposefully and live responsibly as stewards of the world they bequeath for future generations.
The philosophy of the nursing program incorporates the Core Values of Alma College which is to: 1) Prepare students to enter seamlessly into lives in community, vocation, family and faith; 2) Explore a range of disciplines, building a broad foundation in the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities; 3) Pursue advanced work, independent research and creative performances with the depth of understanding to excel in one’s discipline and to perceive the connections among disciplines; and 4) Foster engaged citizenship, service driven leadership and committed stewardship through research-based undergraduate scholarship as well as programs that support experiential, international and service-learning opportunities. Additionally it is expected that with the newly acquired knowledge is an obligation of personal integrity, respect for the value of all humanity and sensitivity to the spiritual and material beauty of one’s existence.
The goal of nursing education is to foster competent nursing practice through the different ways of knowing. Knowledge is derived from the understanding of self, practice, theory and research, with each method of knowing informing and influencing the other components. Competent nursing practice is the ability of the nurse to consistently engage in the critical thinking process so as to create nursing actions that benefit the person and population.
There is an expectation of the faculty and the student in the learning environment. Faculty are expected to engage students in performing and creating nursing actions (interventions) that are based on scholarly evidence. The faculty facilitates learning by assisting the student with interpretation and integration of prior knowledge, aiming for increasingly more intricate and comprehensive mastery of critical thinking and clinical decision-making. As the student becomes proficient in their practice, there is an academic ability to safely and creatively engineer actions that impact the outcomes of each situation. These unique situations ultimately provide an opportunity for new ways to think and respond so as to acquire enhanced skill sets for future situations.
The student engages with peers, faculty and communities to achieve the required competencies of the nursing program. The student accepts responsibility for retaining, retrieving, applying and integrating prior learning experiences within the context of nursing practice. The student uses a variety of self-assessment strategies to discover and advance their learning design, and to track their mastery of competencies, and then apply these learned abilities to their life-long professional nursing practice.
In conclusion, it is expected that the graduate of Alma College’s Nursing Program will be able to: 1) Provide quality health care in diverse settings: 2) Understand the complexities of health care systems: and 3) Possess the leadership skill to address current and future health care challenges.