Emporia State University

Department of Nursing

Mission, Philosophy, Organizing Framework, and Curricular Threads


The mission of the Emporia State University/Department of Nursing, a department within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Emporia State University, is to offer a quality baccalaureate nursing program that prepares graduates with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to function as professional nurses. 


In fulfilling the Mission of the Department of Nursing, the nursing faculty is guided by the Mission of Emporia State University, the Mission of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and collective beliefs of the faculty.  The faculty subscribes to Boyer’s tenets of teaching, integration/creativity, and application/service.  The scholarship of teaching is the faculty’s primary commitment and responsibility.  Faculty values the contributions of the scholarships of integration/creativity and application/service to the processes of education and learning and to the discipline of nursing.     

Education and learning are continuous, evolving processes, with the student benefiting from diverse learning experiences.  The student has the primary responsibility for learning. The arts, sciences, and humanities provide the foundation for education and learning.  It is in the synthesis and application of empirical and theoretical knowledge from the arts, sciences, humanities, and nursing that the student demonstrates the ability to function in the discipline of nursing.   

Five major interrelated concepts derived from the Roy Adaptation Model provide the organizing framework for the nursing curriculum.  The concepts are nursing, Person, adaptation, health, and environment.

Nursing is a health care profession that uses specialized knowledge, skills, and attitudes to contribute to the needs of society for health and well-being.  The knowledge, skills, and attitudes are demonstrated through higher order problem solving; professional nursing values; leadership abilities; promotion of health, reduction of risk, and the management of illness and disease; and therapeutic nursing interventions (TNIs). Nursing is delivered within the health care system through the use of nursing process.  Nursing is both an art and a science. The goal of nursing is to promote adaptation for unique and diverse individuals and groups.

Person is the recipient of nursing.  Person is a biopsychosocial, cognitive, and spiritual being that functions holistically as an adaptive system within adaptive modes.  Person includes individuals or groups.  Groups are comprised of families, organizations, communities, and society as a whole.  Individuals and groups are responsible for making decisions that influence their lives and their adaptation.

Adaptation is the process and outcome whereby individuals or groups use conscious awareness and choice to create human and environmental integration. 

Health is a state of being and a process of becoming an integrated and whole Person achieved through adaptation.  Health varies throughout the life continuum and is influenced by the environment. 

Environment is all conditions, circumstances, and influences that surround and affect the development and behavior of individuals and groups as adaptive systems, with particular consideration of human and earth resources.


Organizing Framework

 NDN Organizing Framework Graphic


   Curricular Threads

Faculty believes professional nurses must demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with higher order problem solving; professional nursing values; leadership abilities; the promotion of health, reduction of risk, and the management of illness and disease; and therapeutic nursing interventions (TNIs).  These essential components of professional nursing are horizontal threads that emerge from the nursing program’s philosophy and are evident in the organizing framework.  Course and educational outcomes are stated in terms of the five horizontal threads.  Each course addresses components of the threads, with specific content increasing in complexity in subsequent courses in the curriculum.  Graduates demonstrate proficiency and understanding of these essential components of professional nursing.  The five threads are defined as follows:

Higher order problem solving is problem solving using a systematic approach.  Higher order problem solving is demonstrated in areas such as the application of research-based knowledge, the use of clinical judgment and decision making skills, and in the evaluation of nursing care outcomes.  Higher order problem solving skills are fostered through experiences that develop cognitive abilities, including application and analysis.

Professional nursing values are beliefs or ideals to which the nurse is committed.  These values are evidenced in the behavior of the nurse when practicing nursing across all health care environments.  Professional nursing values exist within the frameworks of legal, ethical, and professional standards.  Professional nursing values include caring, altruism, autonomy, human dignity, integrity, and social justice.  The development of professional nursing values is fostered in all educational experiences. 

Leadership abilities are used to mobilize or influence others.  Leadership abilities include the ability to think critically, communicate, collaborate, set priorities, delegate, teach, be a team member, and resolve conflict.  Leadership abilities are fostered in educational experiences such as participating in political processes that shape health care, managing nursing care using research-based knowledge, and participating in the work of interdisciplinary health care teams.

Nurses promote adaptation through health promotion, risk reduction, and management of illness and disease.  Health promotion is the process of assisting individuals and groups to make and maintain healthy lifestyle choices using conscious awareness.  Health promotion incorporates the knowledge of health behavior theories, principles of health teaching and counseling, and expected growth and development.  Risk reduction is the process of facilitating behaviors that enable individuals and groups to adapt to health threats through avoidance or early identification of risks.  Risk reduction is based on the knowledge of health care trends and issues in a global environment; fundamentals of epidemiology; principles of screening, referrals, and follow-up; determinants of health; and vulnerable populations.  Nurses manage illness and disease by providing and directing nursing care of individuals and groups to maintain an optimal level of functioning and maximize quality of life throughout the course of illness or disease.  Management of illness and disease incorporates knowledge of pharmacology, pathophysiology, and assessment and management of symptoms.  Opportunities to promote adaptation are provided in educational experiences. 

Therapeutic nursing interventions (TNIs) are nursing actions, procedures, and techniques necessary for safe and effective nursing care.  TNIs include technical skills, communication methods, and the use of technology.  Technical skills are procedures required in the delivery of nursing care and must be performed, delegated, and supervised safely and competently.  Communication methods are necessary for building interpersonal and professional relationships with diverse individuals and groups.  Communication methods include therapeutic communication in nurse-patient relationships and verbal and written communication that is effective, clear and relevant.  Information technology allows the nurse to access and use information necessary for safe and effective nursing care.  Health care technology is a critical component in meeting specific health care needs of individuals and groups.  Educational experiences prepare students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to implement TNIs.

Revised:  4/5/2010