About the Department
Department of Associate Nursing
The purpose of the Associate of Science in Nursing Program is to prepare nurses to provide care to patients in the community with acute and chronic health care needs, where policies and procedures reflect current nursing standards of care and practice. This purpose relates to the Mission of the University by providing general and specialized education for a diverse population of students. The Associate of Science in Nursing Program functions within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Department of Nursing to provide education which is facilitated by a personalized environment for entry level into professional nursing practice. This process prepares the graduates to assume responsibilities of a registered nurse as health needs change and research findings expand.
The Associate of Science in Nursing Program at Mississippi University for Women is cognizant of global health care needs and emphasizes the health needs of rural Mississippi. The program combines general and specialized education for a diverse population of students. The program for the associate degree nurse prepares the graduate for entry level into professional nursing practice and neither requires nor precludes further education.
The faculty believes that each person is a biological, psycho-social, cultural, spiritual, and intellectual being. This holistic nature is in part unique to the individual and in part shared with all humankind. The person’s nature is basically good or neutral, and the individual strives to satisfy basic needs as well as to work toward self-actualization. Interaction between the individual and the environment occurs throughout the life span, and follows a sequential, orderly pattern of growth and development. The person is of value to self, family, community and the environment as an individual regardless of any innate abilities or differences. Therefore, the individual has the right to health care opportunities that promote healthy behaviors, create healthy environments, and increase access to high quality health care, which can lead toward the realization of that person’s full potential as a human being.
Nursing is one of many professions providing health care to individuals within society as a whole. In its broadest sense, nursing is the application of arts and sciences in assisting the person to maintain or recover their optimum level of health or to accept death. The practice of nursing utilizes the nursing process and should be performed in a manner which reduces risk, prevents disease and promotes the patient’s health, responsibility, freedom, awareness and dignity as an integral part of society.
Associate degree nursing practice combines nursing skills with selected principles from the biological, technological, and social sciences. The associate degree nurse utilizes these principles and skills to assess the individual’s level of growth and development and potential assets along the wellness-illness continuum. Therapeutic nursing intervention and instruction are planned and evaluated to assist the person to achieve maximum health or to accept death. The associate degree nurse is prepared to provide care to patients in the community where policies and procedures reflect current nursing standards of care and practice.
Education is a change in individual behavior which evolves from organized learning experiences through the use of critical thinking. It is the process through which a student acquires knowledge, decision-making skills, and understanding of those facts, principles and concepts that underlie a field of endeavor. The student is assisted in integrating the knowledge, communication and psychomotor skills necessary to function effectively in the field of nursing in a complex, dynamic society.
Learning is a continuous and active process manifested by change reflected in behavior. Learning is best achieved when outcomes of learning are behaviorally defined and attainable through a sequential learning process from the simple to the complex. With recognition of the dependent nature of the student body, the learner is encouraged toward progressive independence. The learning process is facilitated by a personalized environment which re-enforces individual strengths through technological instruction, written communication, oral presentations, individual conferences, small group discussions, and specific planned activities reflecting evidence-based practices.
Associate degree nursing is committed to ensuring program effectiveness through strategic planning and collaborative relationships within the community. Through provision of educational opportunities graduates are prepared to meet the Nurse of the Future Core Competencies in a changing and diverse society. The functions and responsibilities of the associate degree nurse will change as health needs within society change and research findings expand. In preparing for this change and expansion, a learning environment which emphasizes leadership, management, individual accountability, and the need for continued professional and cultural growth is provided.
Reviewed Spring 2013
Reviewed Spring 2015
Revised Spring 2018
Reviewed Fall 2020
Student Learning Outcomes
The Associate of Science in Nursing Program prepares individuals to:
- Utilize the nursing process and Maslow’s Hierarchy in providing patient-centered care to an individual or to a group of patients with acute and chronic health care needs.
- Demonstrate leadership in order to provide therapeutic nursing intervention, including patient instruction, which reflects critical thinking, nutrition, pharmacology, communication theory, evidence-based research findings, and the assessment of patient needs.
- Evaluate the interrelatedness between the patient’s needs, family, community and cultural, ethnic, and social environment.
- Utilize the patient’s level of growth and development and strengths along the wellness – illness continuum in providing care and instruction.
- Provide safe and effective care where policies and procedures reflect current nursing standards of care and practice utilizing quality improvement processes.
- Collaborate with interdisciplinary teams in the community in managing patient-centered care.
- Demonstrate personal accountability within the ethical and legal framework of nursing practice.
- Demonstrate the responsibility of maintaining personal, professional, and cultural awareness.
- Incorporate technology and informatics to plan, provide, and manage effective patient-centered care.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the concept of systems-based practice in providing patient-centered care.
Reviewed Spring 2016
Reviewed Fall 2020