​​YVC Nursing Program Mission and Philosophy

The mission of the Yakima Valley College Nursing Program is to provide quality, nursing education that reflects the college's commitment to enrich and enhance individuals and the community by delivering accessible, student-centered education. The nursing program is designed to prepare successful critical thinkers and lifelong learners who are equipped to meet the current and future health care needs of the local and global community.

Values​​

Diversity – affirming the uniqueness of and differences among persons, ideas, values, and ethnicities

Caring – showing compassion for others

Integrity – respecting the dignity, moral wholeness, and ethical principles of every person without conditions or limitation; honesty

Excellence – co-creating and implementing transformative strategies with daring ingenuity

Collaboration – working jointly with individuals and multidisciplinary teams

Philosophy

Nursing education at the Associates degree level at Yakima Valley College is a process that facilitates changes in behavior and the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to function in the role of an entry level nurse. The curriculum incorporates the principles of Malcolm Knowles Adult Learning Theory, Bloom's taxonomy, Tanner's Model, and Patricia Benner's concepts of the transition from novice to expert in nursing practice.

Knowles Adult Learning theory has six assumptions about adult learners. These assumptions are: 1) Adults need to know why they need to learn something. 2) As people mature, their self-concept moves from one of being dependent toward one of being self-directed. 3) As people mature, they accumulate a large amount of experience that can serve as a rich resource for learning. 4) Real-life problems or situations create a readiness to learn in the adult. 5) As a person matures his or her time perspective changes from one of postponed application of knowledge to immediacy of application. 6) Adults are primarily motivated by a desire to solve immediate and practical problems. As a person, matures, motivation to learn is stimulated by internal stimuli rather than external stimuli (McEwen and Wills, 2007, p. 399).

Bloom's taxonomy defines three domains in which learning takes place: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. The cognitive domain involves the ability to obtain and demonstrate knowledge. The affective domain involves internally valuing the unique multidimensional individual, respecting the individual's right to self- determination, as well as valuing the core beliefs of the nursing profession. The psychomotor domain involves performing coordinated fine motor, manual, and gross motor skills that are guided by intellectual reasoning. Critical thinking in today's complex health care system is necessary for safe, effective, and efficient patient care. Learning to critically think is successful when knowledge is presented in a systematic fashion wherein concepts are presented in a progressive manner of simple to complex incorporating all three learning domains.

Patricia Benner's novice to expert concepts takes the student from the novice level and works through five distinct levels; novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient, and expert.  According to Benner (2001), nurses move from the novice level of no experience to the next stage of advanced beginner which demonstrates acceptable performance and has gained prior experience in actual nursing situations. "This helps the beginning nurse recognize recurring meaningful components so that principles, based on those experiences, begin to formulate in order to guide actions" (Benner, 2013, para 9). Students are expected to be at the advanced beginner stage at the time of program completion. 

Student-centered nursing education is best achieved when educators meet adult students at their level while creating an environment of mutual respect and collaboration in the educational process. Learning is an interactive process by which the educator and the learner share responsibility in obtaining successful student outcomes.  By combining theories and research identified previously, students' transition from novice to advanced beginner and demonstrate clinical judgment necessary for safe entry level practice in today's complex healthcare environment.

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CHARACTERISTICS OF THE PRACTICAL NURSE GRADUATE

 
The Practical Nurse graduate meets basic needs of the patient and facilitates nursing care under the direction of the Registered Nurse or supervising health care provider. The Practical Nurse graduate assumes responsibility for personal and professional actions within the practice environment while functioning as an effective member of the health care team. Characteristics of the Practical Nurse graduate include:
  1. Utilizes the nursing process to safely implement multidimensional care for adult and pediatric patients.

  2. Applies knowledge of the developmental stages of the lifespan in implementing patient care.

  3. Uses effective communication skills to promote quality patient care.

  4. Applies basic principles of leadership and patient advocacy when implementing patient care.

  5. Implements health teaching based on the identified plan of care.

  6. Safely administers medications following the principles of pharmacology.

  7. Utilizes appropriate nutritional interventions in promoting wellness.

  8. Utilizes legal/ethical principles in professional conduct and demonstrates accountability for actions taken within the practical nurse role.

  9. Maintains a safe environment for patient, self, and other members of the health care team.

  10. Applies the multidimensional concepts of health and wellness in implementing care for individuals from various cultures. 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ASSOCIATE DEGREE NURSE GRADUATE

 
The Associate Degree Nurse graduate meets basic needs of the patient and facilitates nursing care in collaboration with other members of the health care team. The Associate Degree Nurse graduate assumes responsibility and accountability for practice based on and limited to the scope of his/her education, demonstrated competence, and nursing experience within the practice environment while functioning as an effective member of the health care team. Characteristics of the Associate Degree Nurse graduate include:

​1. Demonstrates nursing judgment (including clinical judgment, critical thinking, and use of evidence-based practice) when working with the patient to achieve the highest level of functioning through utilization of the nursing process.

2. Utilizes knowledge of the developmental stages of the lifespan in planning, implementing, and evaluating patient care.

3. Utilizes effective communication techniques to promote quality patient care.

4. Applies basic principles of leadership and patient advocacy in planning, implementing, and evaluating patient care.

5. Plans, implements, and evaluates appropriate health teaching based on individualized patient needs.

6. Safely administers medications following the principles of pharmacology.

7. Integrates basic nutritional principles in planning, implementing, and evaluating the care of patients.

8. Utilizes ethical/legal principles in professional conduct and demonstrates accountability for actions taken within the registered nurse role.

9. Maintains a safe environment for patient, self, and other members of the health care team.

10. Applies the multidimensional concepts of health and wellness in planning, implementing, and evaluating care for individuals from various cultures in a variety of setting.