History of the Nursing Department
Recognizing that nursing is both an art and a science, and understanding that nursing education should take place in the university setting, the diploma program at Baptist Memorial Hospital joined with UCO to establish the Bachelor of Science with a nursing major in 1969. The first 18 graduates of this new program received their degrees and were eligible for licensure in 1972. Since that time, well over 3,500 men and women have graduated from the UCO nursing program and have begun practice as professional nurses.
The faculty holds the following beliefs about recipients of care, health, environment, nursing and nursing education:
- Recipients of Care - Recipients of care may be viewed as individuals, members of a family, community and society. These recipients are in constant, mutual interaction with the environment, both affecting the environment and being affected by it. Every individual is a unique, holistic being who has dignity and worth. Central to the uniqueness of each individual is the freedom of choice and accountability for choices made. Individuals have a right to seek optimal health in a variety of settings and to receive competent nursing care that is congruent with their culture, beliefs and needs. Families are groups of individuals who identify themselves as a social unit. Individuals and families interact, communicate and are interdependent with society. Communities and societies are integrated systems that unite groups from various cultures on the basis of shared beliefs, customs, values and activities.
- Health - Health includes components of physical, mental and/or social well-being, not just absence of disease or infirmity (WHO, 1948). Health is a continually changing state influenced by biological, psychological, spiritual, cultural, economic and sociological factors. Recipients of care actively participate in defining and achieving health.
- Environment - Environment consists of internal and external influences that are the context of everyday life. Internal factors include physical, psychosocial, developmental and spiritual dimensions. External factors include geopolitical, physical, psychosocial, cultural, historical and economic aspects of the social world. Health is impacted by the interrelationship of the environment and the recipient of care.
- Nursing - Professional nursing is a caring, dynamic process that provides compassionate, respectful and patient-centered care. The nurse accepts responsibility for reflection and professional growth, and is accountable for his/her nursing practice. The nurse functions in a leadership role by actively engaging in community and professional efforts to improve the quality of health care and to meet the changing health needs of society.
- Nursing Education - Nursing education is the integration of knowledge and experience through which an individual develops his potential and establishes values. Transformative learning is a holistic process that places students at the center of their own active and reflective learning experiences. Faculty facilitates learning by creating an environment in which change and growth can occur. Faculty recognizes the individual needs of the learner and creates a variety of learning experiences that provide continuity and increasing complexity in clinical reasoning/judgment. Professional nursing education takes place in an institution of higher learning to ensure both a liberal education and knowledge specific to nursing. Baccalaureate education provides a foundation for evidence-based practice, acquiring clinical reasoning and judgment, identifying community health needs, developing leadership behaviors and pursuing graduate study.