The School of Nursing, as an integral component of Saint Louis University, upholds the Judaeo-Christian philosophy and mission of the University. The faculty of the School of Nursing believes that all persons are created by God and possess intrinsic worth and dignity. Recognition of this dignity requires that acceptance, compassion and respect characterize relationships among faculty, staff, administrators, and students in the School, and relationships with clients and other health care professionals in nursing practice settings. The School of Nursing provides a collegial environment of academic freedom in which students develop knowledge, insight, values, accountability, and professional competence.
Study of the liberal arts provides an essential foundation for the development of an educated person. Such an education assists students to develop greater knowledge of self, of God, of other people, and of the world in which they live. Attributes, such as intellectual insights, logical and analytical skills, and the exercise of independent judgment, are acquired through study of the humanities and the biological, physical, behavioral, and social sciences. This foundation also facilitates the study and practice of professional nursing.
Nursing as a profession and as a discipline is concerned with the promotion and maintenance of health, prevention of illness, care and rehabilitation of sick and disabled persons, and compassionate care of the dying. As a profession, nursing serves individuals, families, groups, and communities. As a discipline developing its own science, nursing continues to expand its body of knowledge and to identify its articulations with the theories and practices of other relevant disciplines.
Nursing education is a collaborative endeavor of faculty and students in which each contributes and shares talents to enhance learning. Faculty members, having achieved expertise, facilitate each student's search for knowledge and self-actualization. Given students' individual abilities, interests, and career goals and changing societal needs, the faculty provides a range of educational programs and uses a variety of teaching methods. All educational experiences are designed to help students develop as critically reflective and socially responsible persons who are capable of making informed, prudent ethical decisions. The faculty encourages student self-assessment and evaluation, thereby preparing graduates for continuing personal and professional development. The faculty believes that continuing education is an integral component of nursing education and offers continuing education programs as a community service.
Initial preparation for professional nursing practice at Saint Louis University is organized around explicit concepts that structure the nursing content in the curriculum; such structure facilitates learning. Upon completion of the baccalaureate program, the graduate possesses the theoretical base in nursing and related disciplines and the skills-both interpersonal and technological-required for practice. The graduate demonstrates the ability to integrate knowledge with skills and to collaborate with clients, families, and other health care professionals in nursing practice settings. The graduate is prepared to begin a career in the practice of nursing in a variety of health care settings with clients of diverse cultural backgrounds and ages. Education at the baccalaureate level prepares graduates for master's level study in nursing.
Master's education provides for the attainment of advanced knowledge and the ability to apply nursing theories in practice, for the mastery of a methodology for advanced practice in a nursing specialty, and for the development of leadership skills in a specific nursing role. Graduates of the master's programs contribute to the development of nursing through their practice, scholarly activities, and involvement in professional associations. Education at the master's level prepares graduates for doctoral-level study in nursing.
Doctoral education provides leadership for the continuing development of nursing as a discipline and a profession.
The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) prepares nurses as Advanced Practice Nurses with the specialized knowledge and skills needed to diagnose and manage health and illness and improve the quality of health care in all practice settings using evidence and outcome-based methodologies. DNP graduates promote the value of the human person, clinical expertise, and patient-centered care with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration within the health care delivery system.
The Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing (PhD) prepares nurses as scholars and skilled researchers who contribute to the development of theoretical and empirical knowledge relevant to nursing practice. PhD programs foster a commitment to scholarly inquiry and a mastery of the methods of inquiry. The study of nursing as a scientific discipline is complemented by advanced study in related disciplines, including philosophy.
*Approved by the General Faculty, April 2008