College and Schools / School of Nursing

Philosophy of the School

The School of Nursing is guided by a philosophy that embodies the mission and goals of the University of California. The philosophy addresses nursing, the clients of nursing, and nursing students. The school is committed to an interdisciplinary learning environment.

Nursing encompasses clinical practice, education, research, consultation, leadership, management, and service to the profession; and to the local and global community. It involves individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities as clients. The profession must consider the human and physical environments that interact with these clients who may have health conditions that range from wellness to illness. Nursing activities must therefore include health promotion and maintenance, intervention and treatment, rehabilitation and restoration, and palliation. At an advanced-practice level, nursing involves comprehensive health care that encompasses the responsibility and accountability for continuity of care across the health-illness spectrum.

Nursing research is both applied and basic; it has as its core actual or potential human responses to illness, and as its goal the development of nursing science. Guided by ethical standards that consider the perspectives of the client, the health care provider, and the larger society, nursing has a social mission that encompasses the right and responsibility to provide leadership in health policy and health care to all its clients regardless of disease status, gender, race, or culture.

People who receive client-centered nursing care are complex individuals who exist in relationship to others in their family and community. This complexity of person involves biological, behavioral, emotional, sociocultural, and spiritual dimensions. Each individual reflects a unique combination of these dimensions that interact dynamically with the environment. The clients of nursing are autonomous decision makers who have certain values and knowledge about themselves that are relevant and essential to successful health care outcomes. As a result, persons have a right and a responsibility to participate collaboratively in their care with the nurse and other health professionals.

Successful nursing students are active learners who bring unique gender, cultural, and ethnic life experiences to the professional practice of nursing. Students at all levels learn relevant theory, acquire practice skills, and are socialized into the profession of nursing. Increasing levels of complexity and sophistication of learning and socialization are expected of students in the different programs. Whether at the beginning practice, advanced practice, or scholar level, nursing students learn to apply knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes in their practice that may include education, administration, and research. While students have the right and responsibility to participate in their own learning, faculty members have the right and responsibility to structure the teaching/learning environment to facilitate learning. Individual academic counseling and a variety of one-on-one, small-group, and interactive learning formats assist students to meet program and individual learning goals.