Colleges and Schools

School of Nursing and Health Sciences

About the School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Mission

The mission of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences is to prepare health professionals for lives of significance and service through baccalaureate and graduate education within the Christian tradition.

Vision

Our vision is the creation and maintenance of a culture of excellence in nursing and the health sciences grounded in the compassion of Christ.

Philosophy of Nursing

The philosophy of nursing of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences builds on the mission and vision statements of North Park University. Our beliefs about persons, health, environment, community and nursing are based on a Christian perspective that is rooted in a Trinitarian understanding of God.

Persons

We believe that all persons are of intrinsic worth because they are created in the image of God and valued equally by God. Their worth is confirmed in the love and redemptive work of Jesus Christ; the work of the Holy Spirit enables persons to come to the full realization of their created worth and restored humanity. Dignity is conferred on the human being by virtue of being created after the image and likeness of God and by virtue of being the only creature destined for fellowship and communion with God. We cannot add to this intrinsic dignity and value, but acts of caring can confirm that dignity and value. Acts perceived as uncaring can diminish one’s self-perception of dignity and value.

We believe that each person is a unity of body-mind-soul-spirit. Each person is an individual and a relational being who achieves identity in communion and community with others. Our Christian perspective emphasizes the spirituality and uniqueness of each person.

Health

We believe that health is the lived experience of harmony among life’s four basic relationships: self, community, environment, and God. To be healthy is to be whole, to experience one’s journey toward wholeness, and perceive oneself as whole physically, mentally, and spiritually. One may feel whole even while suffering.

Health is experienced by individuals, families, and communities. Health effects and is affected by changes in society, community, and the natural environment.

Environment

We believe that environment is multidimensional. It includes the natural environment, created by God, and humanly constructed local, national and global communities.

We believe that the natural environment is a dynamic order that God sees as good.  Human beings have a responsibility to preserve and protect the natural environment to promote the health of all forms of life.

Community

We believe that persons, as relational beings, live in communion with others in the context of multiple communities. This includes faith communities, which have a unique role in promoting wholeness and health of persons, families and communities through congregational life and intentional ministries of health.

Communities provide a dynamic multidimensional context within which persons experience life and learn to understand and experience health and illness.

This context provides the cultural framework and the resources with which persons: (1) develop and maintain values and belief systems, (2) mature physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually, and (3) relate to others both inside and outside their community.

Professional Nursing

We believe that professional nursing, as one of the health professions, serves a unique, specialized and essential function for society. The professional nurse participates in health-promoting and health-restoring activities, provides evidence-based care, and collaborates with other health professionals in evaluating nursing practice. Nursing leaders and researchers work with others for the advancement of the profession and of health care for all persons.

We believe that the essence of nursing is a caring relationship with others that requires professional competence, compassion, and a trusting relationship in which the dignity and worth of the other are confirmed. We believe the caring relationship is motivated and empowered by God’s love for all persons. Its model is the love, compassion, and lifework of Christ, and is a response to Christ’s commandment to love one another as exemplified by the Good Samaritan. In this caring relationship, the nurse is truly present with others in their experiences of health and illness, joy and suffering. This experience of caring communion leads to mutual confirmation of dignity and worth.

This philosophy serves as the foundation for nursing education at North Park University.  It is operationalized in the fulfillment of the unique values of the university: Christian, city-centered and intercultural.

Program Goals

The School of Nursing prepares future leaders in nursing practice through the education of nurse generalists and of nurse leaders, managers, and practitioners. Program goals define our graduates and clearly differentiate among programs.

  • The goal of the baccalaureate (BSN) program is to prepare graduates for lives of significance and service through education as baccalaureate generalist nurses.
  • The goal of the master’s (MSN) and post-master’s (PM) certificate programs is to prepare graduates for lives of significance and service as nurse leaders, managers, and practitioners, whose practice is client-centered and evidence-based.
    • The leadership and management (L&M) track prepares graduates for roles in leadership and management at the macro level.
    • The master’s advanced practice nursing (APRN) tracks prepare nurse practitioner (NP) graduates in one of two population focus areas: adult-gerontology (AGNP) primary care or family/across the life span (FNP).
    • The post–master’s certificate program prepares graduates who seek advanced knowledge, skills, and certification to function as APRNs in one of two NP population focus areas: adult-gerontology (AGNP) primary care or family/across the life span (FNP).
  • The goal of the DNP program is to prepare students for lives of significance and service for advanced nursing practice. Building upon a master’s degree in nursing, students develop organization and systems leadership knowledge and skills, generate new knowledge through practice innovation, and improve health outcomes through application and translation of evidence into practice.

Student Learning Outcomes

Baccalaureate Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the baccalaureate nursing program graduates will be able to:

1.     Provide professional nursing care to individuals, families, and communities based on integration of concepts, theory, and knowledge from nursing education and liberal education.
2.     Demonstrate the ability to use oral, written, and information technology to guide the delivery of care.
3.     Assume responsibility for lifelong learning and plan for professional career development.
4.     Identify and implement safety principles and work within the interprofessional team to create safe environments.
5.     Apply leadership concepts, skill and decision making in the provision of high quality nursing care, healthcare team coordination and the oversight and accountability for care delivery in a variety of settings.
6.     Demonstrate understanding of how evidence is developed and utilize the process of retrieval, appraisal, synthesis, and evaluation of evidence to improve patient outcomes.
7.     Demonstrate basic competence in use of information technologies and patient care technologies to deliver safe and effective care.
8.     Demonstrate knowledge of healthcare policy, finance and regulatory environments, and its impact on health care delivery.
9.     Participate in political and regulatory processes that shape the health care delivery system.
10.  Demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with the patient and interprofessional team to deliver evidence-based, safe, patient-centered care to individual, families, and communities.
11.  Collaborates with other health care professionals to assess and promote conditions and healthy behaviors that improve population health.
12.  Use knowledge of the Christian principles of the philosophy of the School of Nursing to develop caring relationships with patients that confirm their intrinsic worth, dignity, and wholeness.
13.  Integrate professional values, ethics and legal knowledge of the profession into nursing practice.
14.  Conduct comprehensive and focused physical, behavioral, psychological, spiritual, socioeconomic, cultural, genetic and environmental assessment of health and illness across the lifespan among international populations in primarily urban settings.
15.  Collaborate with other health care professionals and patients to provide spiritually and culturally appropriate healthcare to individuals, families, groups, and communities among international populations in primarily urban settings.
16.  Provide or manage and coordinate nursing care, including development of communication and psychomotor skills, allocation and management of physical, fiscal and human resources and delegation of patient care.

Master’s or Post-master’s Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of either a master’s or post-master’s nursing program options, the graduate will be able to:

1.     Integrate core scientific and ethical principles, advanced nursing knowledge, professional values, and clinical excellence in advanced nursing practice that reflects the Christian principles of the philosophy of the School of Nursing.
2.     Apply leadership skills in the design, coordination, delivery, and evaluation of safe and high quality patient care.
3.     Plan quality improvement initiatives to improve health outcomes.
4.     Apply evidence-based approaches to guide advanced nursing practice.
5.     Use information systems and technology to support practice.
6.     Advocate for policies to improve the health of the public and the profession of nursing.
7.     Demonstrate effective communication with interprofessional partners to improve the health of individuals and populations.
8.     Plan, deliver, and evaluate effective, culturally-responsive care to improve individual and population-based health outcomes with intentional emphasis on urban environments.
9.     Design strategies for life-long learning that incorporate professional nursing standards and accountability for practice.

DNP Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the DNP program, the graduate will be able to:

1. Integrate science-based theories and concepts with ethical principles in the development, delivery, and evaluation of practice approaches that improve outcomes and reflect the Christian principles of the philosophy of the School of Nursing.
2. Utilize knowledge of organizations and systems together with leadership skills to improve health outcomes and ensure patient safety.
3. Provide leadership for the translation of research into practice.
4. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of information systems/technology resources to implement quality improvement initiatives and to support practice and administrative decision-making.
5. Demonstrate leadership in the development and implementation of health policy at various levels.
6. Employ leadership skills with interprofessional teams to improve patient and population health outcomes.
7. Engage in leadership to operationalize evidence-based clinical prevention and population health services for individuals, aggregates, and populations.