When Bethune-Cookman’s nursing program was founded in 1978, it became only the second nursing program to be established at a minority institution in the state of Florida. In 2005, the nursing program became the School of Nursing. The University’s School of Nursing is approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing and is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC).
The Bachelor of Science program in nursing has as its primary purpose to educate men and women as beginning practitioners who possess all the qualities necessary for leadership roles in the practice of their profession and in the communities in which they live. A balanced curriculum offers courses in the liberal arts, the sciences, the humanities and nursing. Some introductory courses relating to world, regional and local health issues are offered during the freshman and sophomore years; however, the majority of the nursing courses are concentrated in the junior and senior years. These courses involve nursing students in classroom and clinical learning experiences in area hospitals, long-term care facilities, home-health care, hospice, the health department, early childhood facilities, restorative, rehabilitative and mental health agencies, and many other community-based settings.
Students learn to apply theory in developing competencies in nursing practice, while caring for the client as an adult or child, families of childbearing age, or the elderly. Concepts related to cultural competence and caring for vulnerable populations are interwoven throughout the curriculum.
End-of-Program Individual Student Outcomes
Provides safe, quality, patient-centered, evidence-based nursing care that is guided by caring.
Uses critical thinking/clinical reasoning when providing nursing care.
Implements quality improvement related to patient care.
Participates in collaborative relationships with members of the interdisciplinary team.
Incorporates information management principles, techniques, and systems to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error, and support decision-making.
Provides leadership in a variety of healthcare settings for the purpose of providing and improving patient care.
Functions as a competent nurse assimilating all professional, ethical, and legal principles.
Upon graduation, the student receives a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing and is eligible to take the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
Philosophy of the School of Nursing
The philosophy of the School of Nursing emerges from and is consistent with the mission of the University. The university mission includes a dedication to leadership and service to others. Subsequently, faculty and staff are committed to making higher education in nursing accessible to a diverse student body, both traditional and nontraditional. The faculty believes that the purpose of baccalaureate education is to educate men and women as beginning practitioners who are qualified for leadership roles in the practice of their profession and are prepared to serve the communities in which they live.
Central to the philosophy of the School of Nursing are the definitions that follow:
Health is viewed by the faculty as the faculty believes that health is a dynamic state of being that exists on a continuum from optimal wellness to illness and death. Changes on this continuum are influenced and, in fact, may be caused by internal and external environmental stressors. Health is an essential element for effective adaptation and growth in a changing environment, an environment which is influenced by health beliefs, culture, genetic disposition, and individual behavior. A state of health exists when a person functions as an integrated whole, living and interacting with environments in a productive manner. Movement on the health-illness continuum depends on the severity of stressors, the adaptive mechanisms of the person, and the accessibility to quality health care services. Furthermore, it suggests a harmonious development and preservation of physical functioning; a balance in the ability to gain support from and give support to others, and a fulfillment of perfect trust in a higher power, and a sharing of this trust with mankind.
The wellness-illness continuum is dynamic, indicating that a person’s health status can move from one level to another. The ultimate goal is achieving an optimal level of health. The levels of functioning will vary according to the individual’s state of health and the developmental level. When the usual adaptive abilities are inadequate, the individual moves on the wellness-illness continuum towards a lower level of functioning.
Environment is the sum of all external and internal conditions affecting the life and development of an individual. This includes the physical and nonphysical environment (temperature, water, air, food, workplaces, cultural/ethnic beliefs, values, attitudes, religion, community relationships, etc.). All aspects of environment interact and influence the person’s unique response to illness.
The faculty in the School of Nursing believe nursing is a unique profession that is concerned with all the variables affecting a client’s health (physically, psychologically, and spiritually). The goal of nursing is to form therapeutic partnerships with the client, family, community, and other health care providers to improve, maintain, or restore health.
This goal is implemented throughout the framework of the nursing process and interdisciplinary care plans. The expected outcome is optimal health that adds to the value of life and quality care that is cost effective.
As an interdisciplinary profession, nursing influences and is influenced by internal and external forces which must be considered while working to maintain, promote, and restore health.
The faculty in the School of Nursing believe that the client is a holistic being who, as an individual and a member of society, has rights, choices, and responsibilities. To promote these attributes, an interactive and collaborative relationship between the client and the client’s health care providers must be facilitated.
In accordance with the Christian belief, faculty members in the School of Nursing strive to instill spiritual growth by nurturing a continuous understanding and appreciation of the ecumenical tradition of Bethune-Cookman University. These beliefs and values of religious culture are manifested by demonstrating understanding, acceptance, and love toward all mankind.
Furthermore, the faculty believes that the client may be an individual, family, group, or community and that these ought to be an interactive and collaborative relationship with clients at all times. In order to insure this relationship, the faculty is committed to preparing, caring, and competent nurses who respect and value differences in others, engage in critical thinking, provide therapeutic interventions, communicate effectively, and demonstrate professionalism at all times.
The faculty defines professionalism as an outcome of professional behavior demonstrated by the baccalaureate prepared nurse’s ability to synthesize specialized and abstract knowledge, adhere to standards of competence, and believe in a commitment to public service. Students learn that nursing practice is autonomous, self-regulated through professional organizations and agencies, and is guided by a code of ethics.
The faculty believes that nursing education is a dynamic process by which a person adopts or establishes values, develops the ability to think critically and assimilates knowledge and skills, which will help others to achieve optimal health. Nursing education is an integration of the teaching and learning process. The learning process is self-directed and requires active participation. It is effectively accomplished by an orderly sequencing of learning experiences which incorporate the student’s cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.
The teaching process helps the student acquire values, knowledge and skills. This process is enhanced by the teacher’s ability to synthesize, evaluate, coordinate, and serve as a catalyst in the learning process.
Research and scholarly activities are essential components to the mission of Bethune-Cookman University. Therefore, Bethune-Cookman University’s School of Nursing faculty members are encouraged to take an active part in the development and improvement of research. The primary focus research should be directed towards the solution of problems and the development of knowledge and technology essential to the improvement of the quality of life.
Commitment to Diversity
B-CU serves a diverse student population from city, state, national and international communities. Faculty in the School of Nursing shares a commitment to the value of incorporating diversity in its programs and services because of a belief that diversity contributes to the quality and relevance of the educational experience.