Teaching and Learning Philosophy
University of Michigan School of Nursing believes that active participation of the students in the learning process leads to better understanding of concepts, reinforces retention of knowledge and builds the foundation for life-long professional learning. The School fosters the use of innovative, experimental and emerging pedagogies and technologies to engage students in the learning process. To achieve its goals the School has developed flexible physical and virtual learning spaces and a highly integrated information technology (IT) support system. The aim is to facilitate creative teaching and learning activities and faculty and student use of technology in our courses, community and global outreach programs. [Adopted by U-M School of Nursing faculty, March 2015]
The School of Nursing is an integral part of the University of Michigan and as such, subscribes to the three purposes of the University: Education, Research, and Service. The primary mission of the School of Nursing is to improve the health and well being of society through the impact of our research and by educating nurses for leadership in academic and practice roles. The School achieves its mission by building a community that draws its intellectual strength from the rich diversity of people.
The School of Nursing advances the science of our field as well as contributes to general knowledge development. The faculty and students engage in service activities that benefit our communities and that advance the profession of nursing. The School’s faculty practices are part of our service mission and are aligned with interdisciplinary partners and institutions that provide for integration of our research, education, and practice activity. The School’s faculty practices are demonstrations of innovation in methods and set high standards for excellence.
University of Michigan School of Nursing strives for excellence, offering innovative, high quality academic programs. By setting standards of intellectual rigor, a distinguished faculty provides leadership to the state and nation. The School of Nursing prepares nurses at the baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral and postdoctoral levels who are capable of making significant contributions in meeting changing health needs. The School of Nursing utilizes educational models of clinical practice that address compelling societal needs related to health and illness.
Undergraduate study is designed to prepare nursing students to contribute to the health of individuals, families, groups, and communities through nursing science. The baccalaureate program is grounded upon a liberal education and prepares nurses with the general knowledge base and abilities necessary to function effectively in a variety of nursing careers.
Graduate study is designed to prepare scholarly, specialized nurses capable of assuming leadership responsibilities within both disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts. Inherent in this learning process is the development of an understanding of scientific inquiry methods and research competencies. The master’s program prepares advanced practice nurses who assume roles in practice, teaching, management, and research in current and emerging health care systems. The doctoral and postdoctoral programs prepare nurse researchers to assume leadership roles in developing the empirical and theoretical bases of nursing practice, nursing science, and health policy.
The School of Nursing, as part of The University of Michigan, is responsible for discovery, development, and transmission of new knowledge relevant to nursing practice and to the formulation of health policy in a multicultural society. Basic and applied nursing research is needed to test, refine, and advance knowledge. The School of Nursing faculty develops productive programs of disciplinary and interdisciplinary research and demonstrates excellence in teaching.
The School of Nursing is committed to serving the University, the profession of nursing, and society and to improving the health of the people of Michigan, our nation, and the world. This is accomplished by a faculty that responds to economic and social mandates. School of Nursing faculty hold local, national, and international leadership positions and respond to the public’s health needs by developing and adhering to the highest standards of nursing care.
To provide a base for innovative education and research initiatives as well as facilitating the clinical capabilities of faculty, the School of Nursing sponsors and supports nurse managed services that are interdisciplinary in nature and serve diverse populations. Faculty directs health care services – including nurse-managed services – and consults with health care systems, educational agencies and participates in continuing education activities.
Statement of Aspiration
We have a passion for the "Michigan Difference," which exemplifies rigorous scholarship, high expectations for ourselves and our students, and accountability for continuous quality. We are committed to diversity and have a global reach in our research, education, practice, and professional service. We prepare our students to be leaders and thinkers who also have cutting edge skills. The graduates of all of our programs are the "best of the best" and populate leadership positions locally, regionally, and around the world. We value interdisciplinary activity and are leaders on campus in areas of our expertise.
Our environment and activities are engaging for faculty and students and draw the best from each of us. We aspire to be good partners to each other in a spirit of "lifting others as we climb." We want to function with flexibility, synergy, and efficiency across programs and departments.
Lead the nation and influence the world through the impact of our research, educational programs and practice innovations on health.
A philosophy of nursing contains three essential elements: beliefs about the central phenomena of the discipline, mechanisms by which phenomena can be known or addressed, and values of the discipline. Taken together, these three elements guide the education, research, and practice of the School’s students and faculty.
Beliefs About the Central Phenomena of the Discipline
Viewed holistically, humans are characterized by the dynamic interaction of biological, psychological, sociological, spiritual, and environmental factors. Clients’ decisions about health care vary depending upon their stage in the life span, gender, ethnic/racial origin, sexual orientation, economic status and physical/mental ability. Nurses recognize that individuals’ health and illness exist in a larger context of family, community, society, and the environment. Nurses provide consumer-centered services that assist individuals, families, groups, and communities to attain and maintain optimal well being.
How Phenomena Are Addressed
Nurses support clients’ rights to self-determination, to complete information, and to active participation in all aspects of care. They strive to promote familial, societal, and environmental conditions through education, research, and service, which contribute to health and well being and inform health care policy. Nurses work both independently and in collaboration with consumers of health care, members of each of the health professions, and other individuals and organizations concerned with health to provide high quality, cost-effective care. Nursing shares with other health professions the goals of promotion and maintenance of wellness, prevention of illness and disability, restoration of the ill and disabled to health, and provision of support through the life cycle including a dignified death.
Rapidly changing health care systems have greatly expanded opportunities and ventures for the profession. Nurses recognize that optimal health care balances scientific knowledge and technology with effective resource utilization. Further, professional nursing practice includes leadership in local, state, and national professional organizations and in other health-related enterprises. Professional nurses collaborate with health professionals and other concerned persons in identifying the health needs of society and provide leadership in developing effective health care delivery systems and building the body of scientific knowledge to inform practice.
Values of the Discipline
Nurses are committed to the belief that every individual has the right to safe, satisfying health care that is based upon respect for human dignity and cultural variation. Professional nurses use decision-making and independent judgment consonant with responsible and accountable practice and based on multiple ways of knowing.