Finding the mission and philosophy statements of nursing programs is not complicated. They are generally listed on their websites so that students who are considering them can find what they are looking for. It is important to have a nursing school that matches well with a student's personal philosophy of nursing, so learning about several schools is a good idea. That helps the student make the right choice. Where LSU nursing school and UAB nursing schools are concerned, there are many differences in how the information is presented. Addressing these differences - as well as the similarities - is vital to form a clear understanding of the missions and philosophies of both schools.
One of the largest differences between the two schools is the length of their mission statements. The mission statement of LSU is much longer than the statement provided by UAB. The main reason for this is that LSU provides bullet points and strategic goal information that is very detailed, while UAB does not provide anything that is as explicit or complex in nature. UAB appears to offer something that is more in the spirit of what the school does, but does not provide clear-cut information about the how and the why of it. LSU focuses more on showing anyone who reads their mission statement how they are moving forward and meeting the goals of that statement.
When one looks at LSU's (2011) website, it is easy to navigate and easy to see where to click in order to find the information that is needed. Once that information has been located, it is comprehensive, clear, and informative. The mission statement and philosophy statement are both clearly marked, and that is very helpful for anyone who is looking for those things. The website has a large amount of information, and a prospective student could spend hours researching information and reading about the school. For someone who is trying to make a decision about nursing and about which school to attend, that is very helpful.
The website of UAB (2011), on the other hand, is less intuitive when trying to find the information you need. There is no specific page that offers the philosophy information, and the mission statement page includes vision and core value declarations that are very short and largely non-descriptive. While it is still possible to get a feel for what the school offers and what it is trying to provide to its students, the information is not as clear and as comprehensive as the information on the LSU site. Without clear information on the site, students may have trouble determining if UAB is the right school for them or whether there might be another school whose philosophy and mission would be closer to their own.
There are specific criteria for mission and philosophy statements (Csokasy, 2009). Not all companies and educational institutions follow the guidelines, of course, but many of them have statements that generally address the majority of guidelines. However, when it is difficult to find a philosophy statement for a college or university, or when that school has very little to convey about its mission as an educational institution, it is possible that the school has missed the mark when it comes to guidelines. Students and prospective students want to clearly understand what a school has to offer and what that school believes - especially in a sensitive and generally compassionate field like nursing (Csokasy, 2009).
Because nursing is such a vital profession, schools that offer it as a degree or field of education must consider how they plan to teach nursing to students. By having a philosophy and a mission statement, a school does more than just determine the best way to give information to a prospective student (Csokasy, 2009). A school also defines itself and what it hopes to offer to others. The degrees that it offers, in turn, allow the people who earn those degrees to focus on what they can provide to society. In a field such as nursing, where life and death can literally hang in the balance, it is important for students to understand and embrace the philosophy and mission of the school where they are getting their degree.
That is due to the fact that all students in nursing have their own philosophy of what they should know and how they should use their degree to help others once they have graduated. A school that shares that philosophy and has a mission that the students can really stand behind is the best choice for those students. The philosophy and mission of a nursing school is also important to the professors who teach at that school (Csokasy, 2009). Often, these professors have some say in the mission and philosophy of their department. As those professors leave and more appear to take their places, the philosophy and the mission of the school may be redefined to some degree (Csokasy, 2009). Changing times mean changing philosophies and changing missions.
While it is not necessary to redefine the entire mission and philosophy of a nursing program or degree when professors come and go, it is worthwhile to update those documents periodically because both personal and school attitudes, beliefs, and opinions can and do change (Csokasy, 2009). If the mission and philosophy statements do not closely match what is actually taught, students will soon begin to notice that - and so will professors. That can cause difficulties in the teaching of nursing, since it is a very hands-on, compassionate, and to some degree emotional, field of study and education. As professors and schools work to build mission statements and philosophies, they must consider the students they hope to attract and the kind of education they wish to impart to those students (Csokasy, 2009).
Fulfilling the criteria for mission statements and philosophy statements is significant, even if the school in question does not feel as though those criteria are the most significant issues for them. The reason they matter is due to the fact that students are looking for great information about the schools they are considering. The professors are doing the same when they look for career opportunities. Nursing is a vital, valuable profession - and if a school's statements do not reflect that, they could be losing high-quality professors and students who would make astounding nurses when they graduate. In order to keep professors and students interested in their school, they need to make sure they address their philosophy and their mission clearly (Csokasy, 2009).
Both the mission statement from LSU and the statement from UAB are both focused on one thing - the quality of the education and what that can offer to the future nurses who are being taught at their schools. Even though one school provides more complex information than the other, it is clear that both schools are deeply committed to their students and faculty. That is good news for the schools, for the professors, and for the students and prospective students of those schools. The focus of both of the nursing programs is on quality, commitment, and a desire to make sure that the nurses who graduate from the school are prepared for all that they will face in their careers.
Schools that are concerned with their mission statements and philosophies do more than just create pretty words to post on their websites. They live the missions and philosophies that they create. The only way to do that properly is through the work that comes from getting professors and school officials together to work on the philosophies and missions of these schools (Csokasy, 2009). Without agreement, it is much more difficult to produce information that will be clear, concise, and realistic. It is also more difficult to stay cohesive…