Previously, the author has presented the vision and the mission statement for the Balsdon School of Nursing. The vision of the Balsdon School of Nursing is that it will transpire as a leadler in educating professional registered nurses to meet the health care needs of Central Wisconsin by striving to encourage student success through quality in teaching, scholarship, practice, and service. The faculty strives to encourage student success through quality in teaching, scholarship, practice, and service. This vision statement identifies the outcomes desired by the institution in its BSN nursing program.
In this assignment, the author will identify and develop nine student-oriented program outcomes for the Balsdon School of Nursing. These program outcomes expand upon the school's vision and help describe what type of graduates the school hopes to help achieve. These program outcomes will be developed by examining both the vision and the mission statement for the school and comparing them to the school's current operations. The school's functions will then be compared to the interests of various stakeholders: students, employers, accrediting bodies, and professional organizations.
Balsdon's mission is to offer outstanding, innovative, and learner-centered nursing programs by involving students' engagement in progressively complex curricula that prepares them to undertake important roles within diverse, interdisciplinary, and environmentally complex health care settings. Faculty's commitment is to nurture an open environment in which students are engaged as caring, compassionate, and humanizing professionals within evidence-based, technologically focused, and outcome-oriented health care systems. To transform students' lives through promoting patterns of continuous life-long learning by applying and disseminating results of scholarly work.
This philosophy is directly derived from the school's mission statement. According to Billings & Halstead (2012), the mission must address the knowledge and technological explosion, critical thinking and problem solving, multiculturalism, and communication in response to current and modern changes occurring in today's world. Furthermore, the mission statement, while dismissed by some, is an important key to the quality and nature of student attracted to the school; some research has demonstrated that student enrollment is influenced by the degree of affinity with the mission statement of the school (David, Ruhe, Lee, & Rajadhyaksha, 2007). One might assume that the mission statement also impacts the values and beliefs of the faculty and staff, impacting the entirety of the school's philosophy.
Program outcomes are the goals that the institution sets for students upon completion of the program. These outcomes are considered critical to success for these nurses as professionals. The Balsdon School of Nursing offers a BSN program. Many of its students are older nurses who remain in the workforce while working towards their BSN. These students have been involved in the provision of healthcare for substantial periods of time and are not unfamiliar with the challenges and rewards that come with being a healthcare provider. Therefore, the program outcomes are focused on professional enrichment, as well as covering basic nursing skills and knowledge.
The first outcome for Balsdon is as follows: The graduate will establish and develop critical thinking skills to be used in professional practice. Critical thinking refers to the ability to use logical reasoning to identify and evaluate evidence, compare that evidence to the nurse's own background, and then apply that evidence to decision making (Tanner, 2006). This critical thinking supports the use of professional judgment, because it requires that nurses "synthesize nursing science and knowledge from other disciplines in the provision of safe, quality care" (NLN, 2013). This critical thinking also requires that graduates be willing to question people and outcomes.
The second outcome for Balsdon is that: The graduate will integrate current research and best practices into clinical decision making. Nursing is an evolving profession with standards that are in a flux of constant improvement. Nurses who adhere to older standards of care fail to offer their patients the best care, and may put themselves and their employers at risk. In contrast, nurses who integrate best practices into their decision making processes, stay current with medical trends and developments (Craig & Smith, 2007).
The third outcome is that: The graduate will be people-centered in the approach to medicine. A people-centered approach that helps families, patients, and communities "continually progress toward fulfillment of human capacities" ensures that nurses put patients first (NLN, 2013). One of the major complaints in modern healthcare is that patients feel as if they are not treated as individuals, and this outcome addresses that issue. Failure to treat patients as individuals can result in missed diagnoses or failure to uncover issues or circumstances that can exacerbate illness or hinder treatment outcomes.
The fourth outcome is that: The graduate will make healthcare quality and safety a top priority. Health care services should be provided in ways that are consistent with modern hygiene and safety standards and minimize the risk of harm, not only to the patients, but also to other healthcare providers and the general public. While some healthcare procedures are inherently risky, the graduate will take all necessary steps, even if they go beyond required practices, to ensure safety. One of the most disturbing trends that the author has observed in real-life healthcare settings is for doctors and nurses to fail to observe basic hand-washing safety, which exacerbates the risk of disease transmission Healthcare safety should always be a priority.
The fifth outcome is: The graduate will work as an effective member of a healthcare team. Team work is critical to the success of a nurse in practice, as nurses rarely, if ever, work in isolation from other healthcare providers. Therefore, nurses must be able to work with other healthcare providers, transitioning from leadership capabilities to following capabilities. Critical to this is an understanding of professional responsibility; while nurses must work in teams, they also have to understand that they are ultimately responsible for their decisions as a professional and need to be aware of when it is appropriate to step out of the team environment for guidance.
The sixth outcome is: The graduate will become a lifelong learner and investigator Nursing is not a static profession, but an evolving profession. Professional nurses must engage in lifelong continuing education in order to remain current in their fields. However, the goal of being a lifelong learner goes beyond being the passive recipient of information. Graduates should be able to identify areas where further research is needed and be willing and able to engage in that research.
The seventh outcome is: Graduates should engage in ethical behavior. Professional ethics are sometimes in conflict with personal morals. However, professional ethics ensure that patients receive a consistent standard of ethical treatment from their healthcare providers. The American Nursing Association has developed a comprehensive Code of Ethics for Nurses (ANA, 2001). The graduate should be familiar with that code and its with the interpretive statements, and be willing to adhere to those ethical guidelines. In instances where the ethical code is in irreconcilable conflict with a nurse's own moral dictates, the nurse should recuse him or herself from the scenario.
The eighth outcome is: Graduates should be aware of the impact of culture on the healthcare practices and choices of patients. Nurses need to respect patient culture while also providing care that meets current standards. What this means is that nurses should exhibit respect for cultural differences in all scenarios where this is possible. For example, some religions are interpreted by their adherents as prohibiting individuals from receiving health services from members of the opposite sex, and nurses should respect those beliefs in scenarios where there is not an immediate risk to the patient's life or long-term well-being. Furthermore, nurses need to be aware that religious or cultural dictates may result in a patient refusing treatments despite having a high risk of adverse consequences from that decision; graduates should have sufficient working knowledge of…